Deputies arrest San Augustine County man for killing judge's dog

By Jeff Awtrey - email

SAN AUGUSTINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - San Augustine Sheriff's deputies have arrested a man charged with killing and mutilating a dog belonging to the county judge, a representative with the office said Friday.

According to Chief Deputy Gary Cunningham, the arrest came after an in-depth investigation since May.

Keifer Collins, of San Augustine County, surrendered to deputies on Wednesday and is charged with animal cruelty.

Cunningham said law enforcement is also investigating a case of a dead, mutilated cat found at District Judge Charles Mitchell's lake house. The cat did not belong to Mitchell.

Cunningham said a motive in the case has not been determined in the case, but "there may be some link to elected officials." He said Texas Rangers are assisting in the investigation.

Collins denies involvement in both cases. Cunningham said law enforcement interviewed "a number" of individuals before the arrest.

The mutilation of the dog, which Cunningham said could have happened before or after it was killed, "was somewhat similar" to the cat.

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