20 year old Benjamin Leo Kilber was found guilty of first degree attempted aggravated animal abuse, which is a misdemeanor. Kilber was originally charged with felony abuse, but bthe state agreed to lower the charge after hearing evidence Kilber has a developmental disability- Asperger’s syndrome, an autism-related developmental disorder.
Kilber was arrested in January after he took the family dog, an 80 pound Labrador, and dragged it along a sidewalk, forced a tube down the poor dogs throat, and then hit the dog in the head with kitchen pans. A witness told police Kilber was laughing during the entire incident. He admitted to police he was taking out his anger on the dog.
Circuit Judge Suzanne Chanti heard facts of the case and subsequently found Kilber guilty.
Chanti imposed an agreed-upon sentence of five years’ probation and no additional jail time. Kilber served 17 days in the Lane County Jail after his arrest.
Chanti called the crime “awful” and “totally unacceptable” and said she only agreed to impose the relatively light sentence after learning Kilber’s life story.
“After hearing the story, I agree a prison sentence and a felony (conviction) wouldn’t help you,” Chanti told Kilber, who will work with Lane County Developmental Disabilities Services officials while on probation.
The dog survived the ordeal but no longer lives with Kilber’s family.
Was justice served here? Should the man’s mental disability be taken into account for his punishment? Share your opinion here.