CRESTVIEW — A 22-year-old Laurel Hill man who mutilated his father’s dog and stored its body parts in a refrigerator has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years' probation for aggravated animal cruelty, according to a press release from the State Attorney's Office.
The sentencing stems from a March 14, 2018, incident in which Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies were searching for Michael Reeves, who had violated his probation.
Deputies found Reeves at a home in Laurel Hill. He had a 14-inch knife covered with blood and his hands and wrists had dried blood on them, according to his arrest report. He also had a dried red substance on his pants, shoes and in his hair.
A deputy noted Reeves' arrest report that he had a “slight smile" as he was being questioned.
After deputies had him in custody, they contacted Reeves' father and met him at a house where his son had been staying. There, they found his father's 75-pound pitbull mix mutilated. Deputies found knives, circular saws and metal rods, all of which were consistent with the injuries the dog had suffered. Parts of the dog’s head had been stored in the refrigerator.
The Panhandle Animal Welfare Society recovered Reeves' DNA from the dog, according to the State Attorney's Office.
A beagle mix puppy named Maggie was also found unharmed at the home and taken to PAWS.
PAWS Director Dee Thompson said Maggie, now called Lena, is living the high life on a ranch in Dallas, Texas. The beagle was adopted by the two animal control officers, Andi Warren and Katie Brune, who had been called to Reeves' home. Lena then moved to Texas with Brune, who got a job in the area.
Warren attended Reeves' sentencing in Crestview on Thursday, Thompson said.
"It will never be enough time to justify what we saw. ... But it's great to know that he will be going away," Thompson said.
Reeves also was sentenced for the violation of probation charge. At the time of his March 14 arrest, Reeves was on probation for burglary felony battery. The victim in the battery incident was his father, who requested his son receive probation.