NC man charged in puppy’s beating death makes court appearance
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A Leland man accused of beating a 5-month-old puppy to death on Christmas day was taken back into custody Tuesday afternoon following a drama-filled court appearance.
Christopher Simpson, 21, was arrested Monday and charged with one felony count of cruelty to animals and one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals. He was released from jail after posting a $2,500 bond.
During Simpson’s first court appearance, prosecutors asked the judge to increase Simpson’s bond to $50,000 because they claimed he and his girlfriend, Alyssa Croom, would flee to Florida to escape the charges.
Before the judge ruled, Simpson spoke to the court and apologized for his actions.
The judge decided to increase Simpson’s bond to $100,000 and ordered him not to be in the presence of any animal should he make bond.
The ruling sparked audible reactions, including applause, from those in attendance which was quickly silenced by the judge and bailiffs.
As Simpson was being arrested, Croom stormed out of the courtroom slamming the door open. The judge ordered deputies to bring Croom back into court where the judge chided her for her behavior.
Simpson is accused in the beating death of a Labrador puppy named Axel who was recently adopted from the New Hanover County Animal Shelter by Croom’s parents.
According to officials with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, Simpson admitted to his girlfriend that Axel peed on the floor and bit him and that he didn’t realize his own strength while he was disciplining the dog.
The local veterinarian who performed the necropsy noted that it was the worst case of animal abuse he has ever seen. He claimed that Axel’s liver resembled “ground hamburger.”
Back in July 2015, arrest warrants out of Brunswick County state that Simpson was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after he allegedly injured a three-month-old kitten. On the same date, he was also charged with assault on a female and battery of an unborn child.
District Attorney Jon David said all the charges were dropped after the alleged victim declined to cooperate with prosecutors.
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