Last week, Jesse James Clark of Kelso, WA, was sentenced to three years in jail for his part in the kidnapping and killing of a Bulldog named Jagger in October 2011, as reported in the Daily News Online. Clark is the third person to be convicted in the crime, which received worldwide attention.
In October 2011, the two other culprits, Ivey Rose Svaleson and her boyfriend, Johnny Lee Jordan, kidnapped the Bulldog from Jennifer Lynn Thomas. The pair had shown up at Thomas’ home to collect used baby items that Thomas had offered them, out of kindness, as Svaleson was pregnant. Instead, they stole the dog.
They then started sending “sinister” text messages, saying that the dog would be tortured and killed if Thomas didn’t hand over money and prescription drugs. They kept the dog at Jesse James Clark’s house.
“I was just crushed and scared and sick. I loved him so much, and I was so worried,” Thomas said during the trial.
Police tracked down the suspects, but not before finding Jagger dead and dismembered alongside railroad tracks in Kelso.
Last year, Svaleson received nine months in jail, and Jordan was sentenced to three and a half years in prison.
Clark, who insisted he only agreed to keep the dog for his friends, was shocked by the sentence, according to the Daily News Online, staring with “slack-jawed disbelief” at Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Michael Evans as he read the sentence, while his mother “wept so loudly that Evans threatened to find her in contempt of court.”
The jury found Clark guilty of first-degree extortion and second-degree possession of stolen property. During the trail, prosecutors said that Clark was overheard saying that “he beat the dog, then got rid of it.” He also lied to to sheriff’s deputies when they came to his home and asked about the dog’s whereabouts.
Jagger’s owner berated Clark in court. “If he would have been a man and said, ‘Yes, the dog is here,’ he could have been a hero right now instead of a defendant,” she said. “He cut our dog’s head off!”
Prosecutors aren’t sure what exactly killed the dog, but they believe it was indeed at the hands of the defendants, saying that it “seems improbable” that a train killed the dog and caused the mutilation.
“There’s a degree of cruelty here, a degree of depravity,” one of the prosecutors said.
Clark’s three year sentence was at the top of the sentencing range for his crimes, and he won’t be able to own a dog when he’s out.
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