Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kansas: Michael Kewley arrested and accused of beating his 10-week-old puppy to death; roommate says he's seen him torturing dogs

KANSAS -- A Lawrence man faces felony charges after he was accused of killing a 10-week-old puppy and threatening a victim he shared the animal with, police said.

Michael L. Kewley is charged with felony animal cruelty and making criminal threats and misdemeanor criminal restraint, according to court documents.

Thursday night the victim arrived at the home she shared with Kewley in the 400 block of Hutton Circle and found the dog, possibly a Labrador mix, to be unresponsive, said Lawrence police spokesman Sgt. Trent McKinley.

The dog had vomited and was showing signs of head trauma and bowel issues.

When asked what happened, Kewley told the victim the dog "might have" eaten broken glass, McKinley said, and when she tried to leave with the dog, he threatened her and damaged property.

Eventually the dog was taken to a 24-hour veterinary clinic in the Kansas City area where it died early Friday morning from what the doctor listed as "severe head trauma," McKinley said.

Police were called Friday morning when Kewley and the victim argued again, McKinley said. He was arrested that morning and made his first appearance in court Monday afternoon, when he was officially charged.

Kewley's preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday. He is currently being held in the Douglas County Jail in lieu of a $7,500 bond.

KCTV5 talked to the girlfriend off-camera. She didn't want to be identified, but said her boyfriend is a military veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

She admits she wasn't there when it happened, but said he claims to have had a drink and dropped the glass. The puppy supposedly tried to lick it up and he didn't want the dog licking glass, so he says he "pushed it away".

The girlfriend said when Kewley realized what he'd beaten the puppy to death, it allegedly "triggered an episode of PTSD".

She said prosecutors are working with her to get Kewley the help he needs.

Kewley was taken to the Douglas County jail where he has since been hit with charges of animal cruelty, criminal threat and criminal restraint, two felonies and a misdemeanor.


A roommate told police he saw Kewley abusing dogs, the affidavit says. 

Once he reportedly strung a dog up by the neck over a cross bar and a second time he hung a dog by a heavy bag stand, according to the affidavit, though Kewley maintained he was "just training" the dogs.

(LJWorld.com - March 30, 2015)