Dog dragger sent to jail

October 27, 2014
Morgan

Morgan

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

HART – A Mears man convicted of fatally dragging a golden retriever behind a truck back in 2011 will spend the next 90 days in jail.

Luke Kincaid Morgan, 34, was sentenced to nine months discretionary jail with 90 days forthwith by 27th Circuit Court Judge Anthony A. Monton Monday, Oct. 27.

Morgan had been sought by the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office for over three years since the dog dragging death occurred on Taylor Road in Golden Township.

“I’m ready to put this behind me and move forward,” Morgan said in court Monday.

Warrants were signed for his arrest three years ago, but Morgan fled the area. He was located by the Benzie County Sheriff’s Office last August and arrested on Friend of the Court warrants as well.

Morgan, who was the driver in the incident, was initially facing two felony counts of animal cruelty and a misdemeanor of driving while license suspended (DWLS). According to circuit court personnel, he pleaded no contest to one felony count of animal cruelty during his pretrial, Sept. 23, and the other two counts were dismissed.

Carl Morgan, who is related to Luke Morgan was charged in June 2011 with animal cruelty. Carl Morgan owned the dog that was dragged and killed, said Lt. Craig Mast of the OCSD. A third man  in the truck was not charged. Carl Morgan pleaded no contest the following July to a felony of killing and torturing an animal and was sentenced to six months in jail.

The incident was reported around 10 p.m. on April 21, 2011 after a woman noticed a “trail of blood” on Taylor Road near 48th Avenue. Authorities followed the trail for about three miles until it ended near Morris Road, where the dog was found buried, Mast said.

Deputies said a gas station attendant witnessed three men, apparently intoxicated, at Wilson’s Party Store, at 2430 N. 56th Ave. They were last seen putting the dog in the back of the truck, police said.

Morgan was also sentenced to one year probation with a stipulation that he cannot consume alcohol and will be subject to testing. Monton also ordered that Morgan complete any alcohol treatment programs directed by his probation officer and pay $400 in fines and costs.

It’s possible Morgan, who received credit for one day served in the Oceana County Jail, may receive more jail credit for his time served in Benzie County. Monton directed that his jail credit be reviewed by the probation department.

Sentencing guidelines for the conviction are 0-9 months, Monton said during the sentencing.

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