Today's Paper Latest stories 2018 election city/county races Most commented Obits Traffic Newsletters Weather Puzzles + games

BASTROP, La. — A judge has ordered probation, a fine and community service for an Arkansas man who slit a pit bull's throat on camera in Louisiana and another man who made the video and posted it on Snapchat.

Steven Sadler and video-maker Boots Stanley, both of Hamburg, were sentenced Thursday in Morehouse Parish on one count each of aggravated animal cruelty, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

"Given the inhumane and vicious nature of this crime, the District Attorney's office requested that the judge impose a severe sentence commensurate with the crime. However, the District Attorney acknowledges that the Court has sole discretion in sentencing," District Attorney Steve Tew said in an emailed statement.

Each man got three years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 480 hours of community service, Lewis Unglesby, one of Stanley's attorneys, said in a phone interview from Baton Rouge. Donating $5,000 to the Morehouse Parish Humane Society would cancel half the community service, he said.

Judge Carl Sharp suspended a three-year prison sentence for each and barred them from owning any animals for a year, Tew said.

The men pleaded guilty in April to the felony. Tew had told The Associated Press in March that he didn't expect a plea agreement because Sadler is an avid hunter and federal law forbids felons to possess guns.

Sadler's attorney, Bobby Underwood, did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

Sadler originally had been charged with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, and both men had been charged with conspiracy.

According to the arrest warrant, the video first shows the dog trying to keep its balance on the rump of a horse being ridden by Stanley, with men's laughter in the background. It took several tries to cut the dog's throat, according to the warrant.

Sharp said the men's probation could be reduced after the first year if they are found to have behaved well and complied with terms of their probation, The News-Star and KNOE-TV reported. If they don't pay the fine, they would have to spend a year in the parish jail.


More headlines

Sponsor Content


You must be signed in to post comments
  • qkid
    June 14, 2018 at 4:40 p.m.

    I’m against the death penalty, but this crap makes me want to re-examine my stance. These people must be sociopaths.

  • ebf
    June 14, 2018 at 5 p.m.

    Disgusting. If he would do that to a dog, he will do it to a human. This should have a harsher punishment. I am outraged by this.

  • 2thepoint
    June 14, 2018 at 5:16 p.m.

    Who was the judge? Where was the investigation into any children living in the residences? Child abuse is a certainty. Where is the order taking away any right to own animals in the future. Must have been a good ol boy judge. Recall the judge.

  • reader55
    June 14, 2018 at 6:21 p.m.

    Ridiculous that the sentence was not more severe. Some jail time would have been appropriate.. They basically can buy their way out of most of the community service. They should never be able to own animals again.

  • itryed
    June 14, 2018 at 7:18 p.m.

    Put them each in a cage with a rabid pit bull

  • Grammy
    June 14, 2018 at 7:44 p.m.

    The judge in the case has retired early. He must not have thought the crime justified a harsher sentence. I hope the Arkansas neighbors of these two men let them know how they feel about them being around children.

  • Longhaul
    June 14, 2018 at 8:45 p.m.

    These guys need some jail time and the judge needs his retirement benefits reduced

  • glow
    June 14, 2018 at 10:56 p.m.

    I agree with all the previous comments. The men should get the maximum jail time and the maximum fine. I'm glad their names were reported. I hope someone will take it upon themselves to do something to them. The judge is guilty of animal abuse as well. I hope the men would have been more severely punished in Arkansas.
    Videos of animal abuse should not be allowed on social media. I recently saw one on Facebook and saw images I will never forget before I could hide it. I'm disappointed with the friend who shared the video.