Teens' case sent to grand jury, community seeks justice for 'Puppy Doe'
DRESDEN, Tenn. — Nearly 100 people showed up at the Dresden, Tennessee courthouse Wednesday to protest against two alleged animal abusers as the teens' case headed to a grand jury.
It's not just the state of Tennessee versus Preston Odle and Levi Evans. Wednesday morning, the gallery was full of people who made sure prosecutors know they're angry and they're watching this case.
"Every time I read about it, it still makes my stomach hurt because it wasn't fair," Kathi Townsend said.
She and many others wanted the case to go to a grand jury so the teens face felony aggravated animal cruelty charges and if convicted, could face real jail time.
In the end, they got what they wanted. The state upheld the felony charges and the case is now headed to a grand jury.
Defense Attorney Lang Unger asked for some understanding for his young client Preston Odle.
"He's had a difficult life," Unger said. "I think it will become more evident as we go forward. People who know his family know he lost his mother when he was 8 years old."
Outside the courthouse, 'Puppy Doe' supporters said the justice they seek doesn't necessarily mean a long prison sentence.
"These young men are young and I hope that the help the court system will get them will return them back to us as human beings," said Josh Pool, president of the Native Way Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. "That's my ultimate wish."
If the teens are indicted, their next court appearance is Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. in Dresden.
The boys are out on bond with a few conditions. They may not possess or be around any animals. They also have a curfew of 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. and must seek and attend counseling.