Virginia Beach man sentenced to 2 years for torturing dog to death

A 56-year-old Virginia Beach man will spend two years in prison for choking and stabbing a dog to death, officials say.vernonbeatonmug

Vernon Boyd Eaton Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison with three years suspended in Virginia Beach Circuit Court on Sept. 19. The sentence came about six months after Eaton pleaded guilty to torturing a dog to death using zip ties and a knife, according to the Virginia Courts Case Information database.

Eaton was arrested on Aug. 1, 2015 after a witness noticed a dog with zip ties tightened around its neck in the bed of a truck that was driving in front of him, according to documents filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court.

The witness followed the truck into a shopping center and found Eaton parked in the back, near a dumpster. Eaton was making arm motions over the side of the beck, and the witness realized Eaton had stabbed the dog, court documents show.

The witness found a bloody knife in Eaton’s hand and cut the zip ties from around the dog’s neck. The dog gasped several times and died, court documents state.

The witness took the knife and set it on a curb, and took the keys out of the truck’s ignition to keep Eaton from driving away.

Eaton reported to the Virginia Beach Correctional Center on Sept. 26. He will never be allowed to own a companion animal again, said Macie Allen, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Mayfield can be reached at 352-431-9612.


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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.