Assistant DA of Young County talks about Niko’s case

Published: Jun. 26, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Residents in Young County have voiced their opinion on a dog named Niko that passed away due to alleged animal cruelty from his owners Jeffery Logan and Zachery Anderson. Some residents wanted the two suspects to be charged with a felony but instead, they are being charged with a misdemeanor.

The Assistant District Attorney is now speaking up on why misdemeanor charges are being brought against Logan and Anderson.

“Where this case lives or dies as far as a felony goes, is whether or not the neglect caused the death of Niko or caused the condition that led to his death,” said Assistant District Attorney of Young County Phillip Gregory.

The case was seen before a grand jury. Logan and Anderson were facing felony charges for cruelty to non-livestock animals, Experts witnesses said Niko had an underlying condition that may have played a role in the grand jury issuing a no-bill against the defendants.

“Niko apparently had what I would phrase as a twisted gut and that is a condition that can cause the death of an animal rather quickly if not operated on. Both of our experts were not willing to say definitely that, that condition was caused by the neglect that we’ve seen in this particular case” added Gregory.

Gregory said it’s important to prosecute the act, not the person. The director of the Humane Society of Young County said the abuse Nike endured happened a few years before his death.

“I feel like there was enough evidence for the department to have pulled him from that home in 2021. I think had he come to us at the time since he lived as long as he did in the shape that he was in I feel like we could have saved him from that point,” said Shelby Brogdon, director of the Humane Society of Young County.

“Right now the courts have previously reviewed convictions and they have indicated that torture, failing to provide adequate care of an animal like food and shelter is not torture under the current statute,” explained Gregory.

The case has been referred to the county attorney’s office.

“Looking at the photograph’s that I have and looking at the evidence that I has been presented to my office I believe that there is a very good case of inhumane treatment of this animal,” said Christopher Baran, County Attorney of Young County.

Logan and Anderson face charges of a Class A Misdemeanor which would allow one year in jail and/or a $4,000 fine. A jury could choose anywhere on that spectrum.