Virginia Beach pair charged with torturing animals to death after 4 dogs seized

Justin Malik Jones, 22, and Stephine Machelle Stallworth, 41, were charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and two counts of felony torturing animals causing death after authorities took four dogs from them on Sept. 7. (Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Animal control had to euthanize two dogs and are caring for two others after the animals were taken from two Virginia Beach residents who were allegedly mistreating them.

Stephine Machelle Stallworth, 41, and Justin Malik Jones, 22, were charged with two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and two counts of felony torturing animals causing death after authorities took four dogs from them on Sept. 7, according to Virginia’s General District Court Online Case Information System.

The first dog was seized after a citizen told a sheriff’s deputy that there was a sick dog in the 5800 block of Pickering Street around 10:45 a.m. on Sept. 7, according to a city news release.

Authorities found an emaciated, brown female dog that looked like a boxer suffering from malnourishment and skin problems. After her owner relinquished her to animal control, the dog was taken in and is currently being cared for by the agency, the news release states.

Around 4:30 p.m. that same day, animal control was called back to the 5800 block of Pickering Street — this time to the yard of a vacant home. A maintenance crew reported finding a dead dog, but when authorities arrived they found that the emaciated, mixed-breed dog was barely breathing, according to the release.

The dog was taken to an emergency vet. After examination, she was euthanized.

During their investigation, animal control authorities realized that the dog who was euthanized had the same owner as the sick dog from earlier in the day. They also located a second owner who had two additional dogs, one of which was euthanized and the second of which is currently in the care of animal control.

Stallworth and Jones are currently out of jail on bond. They are scheduled to be arraigned in Virginia Beach General District Court on Oct. 5.

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.