In 1983, when Timothy Cregg was 19 years old, he shot his father twice in the chest with a shotgun. His father bled to death in a drainage ditch. Mr. Cregg was found not guilty by reason of insanity after the judge heard testimony from a psychiatrist that Mr. Clegg suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The court ordered him committed to a state psychiatric hospital where he stayed until his release in 2003.
Last month, Mr. Cregg was charged with felony animal cruelty. His Pitbull puppy reportedly chewed up a comforter in the home. In response, Mr. Cregg allegedly cut the puppy’s throat, beat his head in with a hammer and then threw him in the trash, still alive. Someone alerted police to the puppy in the trash bin but due to the severity of his injuries, he had to be euthanized.
A judge referred Mr. Cregg to undergo a psychiatric evaluation in order to determine is he was legally sane at the time of the alleged puppy torture:
Such examinations typically take many months. It’s expected to result in more incarceration time for Cregg than if he pleaded guilty as charged.
That’s because his state sentencing guidelines are expected to be so low, based on his history of no prior felony convictions, that his conviction would likely result in a sentence of only a few months in the Muskegon County Jail.
It sounds as if Mr. Cregg will again be a free member of society sooner rather than later, regardless of the outcome of his psychiatric exam. I hope not and I will post an update to this story if I see one.
Remind me how our society is safer for locking up hundreds of thousands of non-violent drug offenders?