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Man Who Burned Dog to Death Over $50 Debt Sentenced to Four Years

Thumbnail image for wesleyreid1111.jpg
Wesley Reid.
Zeus' killer is going to jail.

Yesterday, Wesley Reid pleaded guilty to felony charges of animal abuse and knowingly burning for the death of the three-year-old pit bull back in August 2013. According to the circuit attorney's office, Reid believed Zeus' owner owed him $50, so he doused the dog with gasoline, lit a match and dropped it. Zeus, who was tied to a fence, couldn't escape the flames.

"This dog wasn't hit by a car. This wasn't an injury he sustained running down the block. This is something that someone intentionally did -- it is just unforgivable," Mike Perkins, director of the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Task Force, told Daily RFT at the time.

See also: Another Dog Burned Dead in St. Louis, Humane Society Offers Reward; "Just Unfathomable"

So extensive were Zeus' injuries that veterinarians ultimately decided to humanely euthanize him. The animal had endured third-degree burns on 75 percent of his head and 30 percent of the rest of his body.

In court yesterday, Reid opted to take a four-year prison term instead of 120 days of "shock incarceration" in the Missouri Department of Corrections followed by probation.

Reid, nineteen, was already on probation for leaving the scene of an accident in St. Louis County when he was arrested and charged in October. The probable-cause report stated that Reid even sent a text to the Zeus' owner that "suggested that the defendant purposed to set fire to the dog."

Along with a press release announcing the sentencing, the Circuit Attorney's Office's released a video yesterday with reactions to the judgement from HSMO's Perkins and Assistant Circuit Attorney Anna Kratky.

(WARNING: The video includes a GRAPHIC PHOTO of the injured Zeus.)

See also: Randy Grim On Animal Cruelty Task Force: "We're Making Huge Progress"

Zeus' death shook St. Louis for its cruelty, but sadly, it wasn't the first time we'd heard of a dog being horribly burned: In July 2013, just two months before Zeus' death, a dog named Brownie had been discovered chained to a fence and torched over most its body. Adrienne Martin, Brownie's owner, was charged with felony animal abuse.

Martin, who disputes those charges, is due in court on Monday.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com

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44 comments
Jenna Lea Henderson
Jenna Lea Henderson

There is a lot to be said for an eye for an eye mentality. I think we should tie him to a fence, light him on fire & let 75 percent of his body burn. But instead we reward him with four years of free shelter, counseling, food, clothing & healthcare-something a lot of law abiding, hard working Stl citizens aren't lucky enough to have..

Richard Messum
Richard Messum

Only four years for this appalling excuse for a human being?

Shawn Smith
Shawn Smith

How is it that 120 days was a *choice* given? That animal wasn't given a choice of whether it was caught on fire while alive. Fuck you to the prosecutor that would offer this as a plea bargain. How about 4 years plus a lifetime restraining order that prohibits him from ever being near another animal?

Jeanne Keller
Jeanne Keller

What a POS, he should've gotten a much longer sentence and the owner of the poor dog should have never left him there with that jerk!

Yvonne Green
Yvonne Green

Yet another idiot my tax dollars will support for the next 4 yrs. I say NO! Give him the same thing that the victim suffered!!!!

Eric Wright
Eric Wright

But if your Casey Anthony.... You can kill your child and get zero time.

Ryan Masters
Ryan Masters

What a loser for not paying the 50 bucks.. now your dog is dead, asshole.

Jeff Willett
Jeff Willett

I wouldn't want this low life anywhere near animals ever again.

Cathy Erslon
Cathy Erslon

What makes no sense to me is how he was even offered Shock Incarceration (bootcamp). His offense was violent and it's generally offered to inmates facing less than 30 mos of prison time.

John Sahaida
John Sahaida

The article says he took 4 years over 120 days?

Paula Williams
Paula Williams

About time these people are punished. Must serial killers start with animals.

Shayna Starr
Shayna Starr

Let's handcuff him to his cell, douse him with gas & drop a match...Hahahha

Tuberose Sungazing
Tuberose Sungazing

They should lock him up with a bunch of life sentence animal lovers and them kick his ass daily.

Nita Biffar
Nita Biffar

Not good enough, what the dog owe him money, just stupidity, after jail, community services at a dog shelter should be added

Graham Collins
Graham Collins

He'll be back on the block in less than a nickle. Remember this face.

Tuberose Sungazing
Tuberose Sungazing

only 4yrs? how about 20+ years! if someone is cruel enough to do that to an animal whats stopping him from doing worse things to people. especially children. someone to do that to any animal is sick and needs to be punished the same as they would as they would a human.

Randy Jones
Randy Jones

Stake him out on an ant mound with honey for a few hours, clean him off then toss his butt in jail

Duke Marhankis
Duke Marhankis

Anything short of setting him on fire is too light of a sentence.

Gary T. Kirchner
Gary T. Kirchner

Total loser there.... nuff said. And he coulda got 120 days... idiot! Enjoy!

tj9638
tj9638

Rot in hell, you motherfucker!@

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