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The commonwealth’s attorney’s office is pondering its next move after a grand jury refused to indict the man accused of stomping his girlfriend’s puppy and setting it on fire.
Paul “Doobie” Dearinger of Lawrenceburg walked away scot-free late last year after being charged with felony torture.
He was originally charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals, but that charge was upgraded to a felony by the Anderson County Attorney Bobbi Jo Lewis’ office last November.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney David Nutgrass confirmed Tuesday morning that the case is still pending in his office, but could not release any details. It’s unclear if Nutgrass will reapproach the grand jury to get an indictment on the original misdemeanor charge.
Dearinger is currently in custody in the Franklin County Regional Detention Center on an assault charge, according to the jail’s website.
Dearinger, 40, made headlines across the region last September for allegedly killing his girlfriend’s 8-month-old puppy, Buster.
Dearinger allegedly killed the puppy following an argument with his girlfriend.
A witness claimed Dearinger likely kicked the dog to death before tossing it in a burn pit at 1330 Dry Dock Road and setting it on fire.
It remains unclear if the dog was dead when it was burned.
Several people then buried the dog, which had been placed in a trash bag.
A witness was apparently in another room when Dearinger allegedly stomped on the dog and broke its neck.
“I heard the dog crying … loud … I was scared to go in there,” the witness said. “I waited until Dearinger was passed out to let the dog out and Buster was gone … in the fire pit. There was puke … in the bathroom.”
The following day, a witness called Anderson County animal control officer Jason Chesser, who exhumed the dog’s remains and launched an investigation in conjunction with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.
A warrant was issued for Dearinger’s arrest, but nearly a week went by before he was finally found and arrested in Franklin County.
The incident sparked outrage across Anderson County, including a variety of incendiary comments made on a social networking website.