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Salt Lake man pleads guilty to torturing puppy to death

Salt Lake man pleads guilty to torturing puppy to death

(Salt Lake County Jail)


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SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake man headed to trial for torturing his girlfriend's puppy to death has pleaded guilty.

Mikah Johnson, 20, entered a plea deal Friday, admitting to two counts of torture of a companion animal, a third-degree felony. An additional count of torturing a companion animal was dismissed, along with four class B misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty.

Johnson also admitted to one count of class B misdemeanor assault for shoving his girlfriend into a wall during an argument.

During a one month period, between approximately July 13, 2015, until the day the dog was pronounced dead on Aug. 18, 2015, court documents say Johnson beat the 3-month-old border collie named Moose for extended periods of time, including for 45 minutes on July 20. On Aug. 15, 2015, Johnson admitted he deliberately sprayed Lysol in the dog's face.

A veterinarian determined Moose died of "severe pulmonary hemorrhage" from at least two episodes of blunt force trauma, charging documents state. The dog had a fractured jaw, missing teeth, a liver ruptured in two places, extensive bleeding in his lungs, extensive bruising between the eyes extending back toward his spine and severe eye injuries, according to police.

Johnson was ordered to stand trial on the charges following a preliminary hearing in February. That trial was set to begin Aug. 29.

As part of the plea deal, Johnson reserved his right to ask for the charges against him to be reduced after successfully completing probation. Potential prison sentences of zero to five years for the two third-degree felonies are expected to run consecutively, court documents indicate.

Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 4.

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McKenzie Romero

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