Case Follow-Up: Thor in NM

You may remember the case of Thor, the dog who was brutally decapitated via knife and chainsaw in NM.  Corey Bowen, one of two men charged in the case, faced fourth-degree felony extreme cruelty to animals.  His trial ended in a hung jury this week:

The jury, which began deliberating the case at about 4 p.m. Monday, questioned the definition of extreme cruelty to animals.

[Chief District Judge John] Dean told the panel to rely on the court’s instructions, namely, that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Bowen intentionally or maliciously tortured, mutilated, injured or poisoned the dog, Thor, with a knife or maliciously killed Thor, and that Bowen helped encourage or caused a crime to be committed.

The jury was evenly split and could not come to a unanimous decision.

On the day of his death, Thor had allegedly bitten a child at the home, while on his logging chain.  The child was never taken to a doctor and no report was ever filed about the bite.  At trial, Mr. Bowen’s attorney argued that he had killed Thor because “he’s passionate about his children”.  Which sounds kinda swell and heroic-like.  Until I think about the kids who had (and probably still have) nightmares after being traumatized by Mr. Bowen’s cruel actions.

The state plans to retry Mr. Bowen.

The other man charged with Thor’s savage killing, Teddy Sexton, has already been sentenced:

Sexton, in October, pleaded guilty to [fourth-degree felony extreme cruelty to animals], which carries a prison term up to 18 months. But because of Sexton’s criminal history, he faced and was sentenced to a mandatory eight years in prison.

5 thoughts on “Case Follow-Up: Thor in NM

  1. Glad to hear that one of the guys got hit up with a nice lengthy sentence….sad that it ended with a hung jury. Thankfully the state is planning on retrying Mr. Bowen – because he shouldn’t be allowed to get away with doing something like this.

    You brought up the children – were they there watching while this happened? Goodness I sure hope not. While that would be a nice big cause of PTS it would also give them a negative opinion on the value of any animals life.

    Interesting that the child was never taken to a doctor for the bite…and makes me wonder how bad the bite was. Regardless, there are more options out there to deal with a dog that bites rather than cutting its head off with a knife and/or chainsaw. The dog was outside on a logging chain…that in and of itself makes me wonder if they trained this dog at all because it sounds almost as if the dog was left outside and quite possibly didn’t have much interaction with the family. AND if they didn’t do proper socialization when Thor was a pup then it would not know how to act with kids…seeing them as playmates and we all know that pups play a bit rough with each other, so it only would stand to reason that if not properly socialized there would be problems when around kids…thinking that the kids screaming could cause the dog to get more excited and things to escalate fairly easily.

    I sure hope that the next jury isn’t a hung one and this guy does some time for his crime. I hate it when people get off with a slap on the wrist when they’ve done something to an animal – yet the same thing done to a person puts them away for life. Goes without saying that I hope neither man can NEVER have another pet…they don’t deserve it.

    1. The police description of the bite was “small bruise, small puncture”. I don’t know if the kids witnessed the killing or if that info was ever released. When I first blogged on it, they said they were trying to determine if the kids had witnessed it. But apparently that’s how authorities were alerted to the incident – the kids suffering nightmares and someone from the state finding out about it.

      1. Holy crap! That is disgusting…obviously that kids saw it or they wouldn’t have been having nightmares! Are they just charging these guys with animal cruelty charges, or are they getting hit with something for allowing the kids to watch it? Is there even a charge for something like that? The act itself is disgusting to think of and I am a grown adult! I can’t imagine letting kids watch it happen, or doing it myself. There was a much better way to handle the situation. Jack butts! Twist sick butt individuals!

        I read your previous post (finally) and read all the beginning details…the poor dog was not treated very well at all. And considering that the ACO’s were out and deemed the dog not violent – it sounds like possibly the child(ren) were playing and the dog reacted to them running around & playing. I’ve had more than a few pit types that I’ve had to train that were in similar situations – people got a pit type dog as a young pup and never socialized it properly and they chose to chain it up outside and leave it there for good..constantly on a big thick, heavy chain with hardly any interaction at all except to throw some kibble in a bowl and occassionally fill up a big water ‘dish’ – and that’s the extent of their human interaction. I always feel so bad for these dogs…everyone that I get I can ALWAYS tell the ones that have been tossed outside like a bag of garbage just by how they react to my kids playing. All it takes is a little time working with them and they are good to go. Such smart doggies…I can’t imagine what poor Thor went through – to first have someone take a knife to your neck and when that wasn’t good enough they pulled out a chainsaw?!?! I’m sure the dog probably got beat up before any of that happened as well. I can’t imagine what went through that poor doggies mind while all this was happening. I pray that neither one of these men are EVER allowed to be around another animal – let alone own one. Sick twisted psycho people! I can’t imagine what this guy’s sister went through either – to give him her dog only to have it end up like this…I just don’t understand how some people can do stuff like this. So the jerk couldn’t have a gun – so he chose a knife & chainsaw instead. These guys need some counseling along with major jail time.

        Thank you for taking the time to write about this…I know it had to be hard for you – I am having a hard time with it myself, especially with all the pit type dogs I’ve worked with. Every time I read something like this is make me worry all over again about all the dogs I rehomed. After the first year if all home visits and vet checks follow up for the first year I tend to stop checking up with them because I assume that if they are doing good after 1 year that there aren’t any problems. Occassionally I will do a yearly check up with some of the ‘harder’ dogs that I trained, but generally the people have been really good once they learned what life with a pit type dog is like and I know that everything is fine I will send cards to let them know my info in case they ever need to return a dog (because it’s in the contract they signed that if they need to get rid of the dog they HAVE to contact me first..and that’s only happened once).

        Don’t get me wrong I’ve had my share of bites from some of these dogs, but I can tell the difference between biting out of fear, biting because they get worked up and weren’t socialized properly, and biting because they are aggressive. If I ever have a dog that is aggressive to the point that I know rehoming the dog is going (or could) result in harm to another dog or person I make the decision on having to put the dog down – thankfully that has only happened once – although some of the evaluations I’ve done prior to taking on a new dog has resulted in me turning down the person and telling them their best option, due to the condition of the dog (and their lack of education on proper caring for these types of dogs – you wouldn’t believe how many idiots think that they have to beat a pit type into submission and many times, while it can be reversed I have seen some dogs that are so fearful of humans that they will try to attack anyone who comes near them) – has resulted in me telling the person that the dog needs to be put down. I always try to talk them into taking the animal to the vet and staying with it while they do put it down…I do know some of them will dump the dog with AC and have them kill it because they “just couldn’t handle killing their dog”. I would get angry with people like that – but after reading this I am glad that they did that over trying to kill the dog themselves.

        Thankfully since the state is going to retry this case we don’t have to worry about making calls & sending e-mail to get them to retry it…that’s the only good news out of this. Well – that and Mr. Sexton getting 8 years due to his criminal past. I just hope the poor kids have been put in counseling too.

        As much as people complain about ‘pit bulls’ being mean dangerous dogs – I fear that humans are far more mean & dangerous…especially those like this!

  2. Humans can be so dangerous to all life forms. Both of these man need mental help.

    If the children did see this, it seem that it should be consider mental child abuse.

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