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Published: Thursday, May 16, 2019 @ 9:04 AM
By: Lauren Pack - Staff Writer
BUTLER COUNTY — A Monroe man has been found not guilty by reason of insanity to a felony charge of animal cruelty for slitting the throat of his 7-year-old dog.
Michael Kelley, 62, was charged with cruelty to a companion animal, a fifth-degree felony, for allegedly killing his Yorkipoo on Nov. 2, 2018, at his residence in the 3300 block of Carol Ann Lane.
Kelley was ordered taken into custody after the bench trial for his safety and the safety of the community and will be back in court this morning for a hearing in which the judge will determine if he is currently a mentally ill person who should continue to be subject to court order.
In February, attorney Paris Ellis filed a not guilty by reason of insanity plea on Kelley’s behalf, and the judge ordered a psychological forensic evaluation. After a bench trial last week, Judge Jennifer McElfresh made the ruling.
According to the complaint filed Nov. 21, 2018, Butler County Deputy Dog Warden Jennifer Schwaller said Kelley took the dog outside and slit its throat with a kitchen knife. However, that attempt was unsuccessful, so he then retrieved a fillet knife.
Kelley’s wife returned home shortly after 4 p.m. and found Kelley lying on his stomach on the kitchen floor and reaching out his arms while gasping for breath, according to the Monroe police report. He did not respond to her, and the refrigerator door was open, according to police.
After calling 911, Peggy Kelley, Kelley’s wife, saw blood spots outside the home’s back door and could not find her dog, according to the report.
The dog was found in the yard near a fence with a nearly severed head, according to the report.
“Peggy stated he loved this dog and doesn’t know why he would do this,” the report read.
Peggy Kelley said her husband suffered from depression since 2005 and had stopped taking his medication. She said when she left for work about 5:30 a.m. that day, her husband was doing well.