RENO, Nev. — Officials in northern Nevada say a man convicted of torturing, killing and dismembering seven dogs is eligible for possible release years earlier than originally believed.
The Nevada Department of Corrections had expected 32-year-old Jason Brown would not have a chance for parole until 2025, but now says that was legally incorrect under Nevada law because his crimes involved dogs, not people.
A department spokesman says Brown actually became eligible for parole in 2019 after being sentenced in 2015 on seven charges of torturing and killing small dogs. Staff at a Reno hotel found beheaded and skinned dogs in the room's mini fridge, and police found brutal videos Brown made of himself torturing the animals.
Brown is heard in the videos saying he took the animals to his "house of pain," that he wanted to make a fur coat, and that "Pugs, instead of barking, sound human, like little kids."
A Nevada Parole Board hearing is set for April 11 to consider Brown's possible release.
The District Attorney's office said it will oppose parole for Brown, who is among several convicted animal abusers who may be up for parole sooner than expected.
The Department of Corrections told 13 Investigates that some of these offenders, including Brown, were mistakenly classified as "violent" in the prison system, because Nevada law says only a person can be a victim of violence. Animals are treated as property.
13 INVESTIGATES: Nevada could release some convicted animal abusers early. Here's why
Classifying animal abuse as a non-violent property crime means credit for good behavior and work behind bars can shorten the minimum end of a prison term. It's something animal advocates want state legislators to change.