A South Florida man accused of beating a pit bull puppy, stabbing it 50 times and putting it in a suitcase while the dog was clinging to life was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday.
Brendan Evans, 35, was sentenced after pleading guilty to the attack on Ollie the pit bull, who died with horrific injuries two days after his discovery in 2017.
The attack on the Ollie sparked an international outcry. Hollywood’s Evans initially denied being involved, but investigators said they found cat paws and rats with severed heads in his freezer, blood stains in his bathroom, and dried blood and animal fur in his oven.
Broward Sheriff’s Office, Hollywood Police
Brendan Evans, Ollie
Evans has been in jail since his arrest four years ago. He was initially charged with 17 animal cruelty charges, but prosecutors dropped 15 in exchange for the admission of guilt, his attorney Michael Gottlieb said.
Gottlieb agreed that the crime was heinous, but attributed it to his client’s mental health problems.
He was asked on Friday if Evans had any remorse.
“Of course he does, he’s a completely normal person like you and me,” said Gottlieb. “Unfortunately, he has a significant psychological problem. He reacted to external stimuli that told him that his life would be in danger if he did not make a sacrifice.”
Gottlieb said he also understood the outrage over Evans’ actions.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation. It’s one of those cases where we have a person with a mental illness,” he said. “So I think the sentence was fair but harsh. Obviously he committed a heinous act, but at the same time he did it because of mental illness.”
In court, Gottlieb moved Evans to move to Moore Haven Prison, west of Lake Okeechobee, where he believes Evans will receive appropriate mental health care.