A South Florida man accused of beating a pit bull puppy, stabbing it 50 times and stuffing it into a suitcase while the dog was clinging to life was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday.
Brendan Evans, 35, was sentenced after agreeing to plead guilty in the attack on Ollie the pit bull, who died two days after he was discovered with horrific injuries back in 2017.
The attack on the Ollie caused an international outcry. Evans, of Hollywood, first denied being involved, but investigators said they found cat paws and rats with severed heads in his freezer, blood stains in his bathroom and dried blood and animal fur in his oven.
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Evans has been held in jail since his arrest four years ago. He was initially charged with 17 counts of animal cruelty but prosecutors dropped 15 in exchange for the guilty plea, his attorney, Michael Gottlieb, said.
Gottlieb agreed that the crime was heinous but attributed it to his client's mental health issues.
He was asked Friday if Evans feels remorse.
"Of course he does, he’s a normal person just like you and I," Gottlieb said. "Unfortunately he has a significant mental health problem, he was answering to external stimuli that told him if he didn’t commit sacrifice that his life was in danger."
Gottlieb said he also understands the outrage over Evans' actions.
"It’s a very unfortunate situation. It’s one of those cases where we have an individual with mental illness," he said. "That’s why I think the sentence was fair but firm. Obviously he committed a heinous act but at the same point in time he did it through a mental illness."
In court, Gottlieb requested a transfer for Evans to Moore Haven Prison, just west of Lake Okeechobee, where he believes Evans will receive proper mental health treatment.