Ollie was treated by vets after he was stabbed multiple times and left in a suitcase on October 10, 2017. He died two days later. (Mike Stocker / Sun Sentinel / TNS)
Brendan Evans, accused of stabbing a pit bull named Ollie more than 50 times and leaving it trapped in a suitcase in Hollywood, now admits the crime four years after declaring his innocence.
Evans, 35, will serve 10 years in state prison for double cruelty to animals, his defense attorney Michael Gottlieb said on Tuesday.
The crime made headlines around the world and sparked anger among animal lovers from New York to London and beyond.
Evans’ first attorney argued that the violent public outcry would make it difficult for Evans to get a fair trial and suggested waiting for the excitement to subside.
People from across the nation pledged to flood the courtroom and sent letters to the judge demanding justice for Ollie.
The mutilated Ollie was discovered on October 10, 2017, when a couple taking a nightly stroll heard frantic screams from a blue suitcase not far from Evans’ apartment.
They called the police, who took the dog to a nearby veterinary clinic. Vets thought he would recover, but he died two days later.
At first, hundreds of outraged dog lovers offered to adopt Ollie.
When he died of his wounds, they donated nearly $ 60,000 in reward money to help find his killer.
Evans was charged with the crime after Hollywood police linked his DNA to the suitcase.
The police searched his home and found cat paws and rats with their heads severed in his freezer. Blood stains covered a shower curtain and toilet in the bathroom. The stove was covered with dried blood and animal hide. Officers also found an 18-inch machete under the TV stand, another knife covered in blood and fur on a dresser, and a third knife with a broken handle and blade in a dog bowl.
They also found a handwritten note that read, “Get rid of the entire pit bull investigation. Return any curses placed on Brendan to their sender. Give Brendan peace of mind. “
Vets treating Ollie said he remained sweet and loving despite all of his wounds.
Haunted by the story, animal activist Mindy Moffatt set up a Justice for Ollie page on Facebook shortly after Ollie’s death.
“When I was creating this site everyone around the world felt such love for this dog, even though they never met or touched him,” she said. “Ollie endured immense pain and stayed alive for a reason. He is the reason why all these other animals do not suffer a painful death. That’s why this dog means the world to me. Because of his will to live, he saved other animals. “
Evans has another hearing for Friday related to a robbery violation parole in Hernando County, Gottlieb said. In this case, he faces up to 15 years.
Gottlieb said Evans was on medication and needed care from mental health experts – care he hadn’t received in the past four years in prison.
“I hope the prison will give him some kind of help when he gets there,” said Gottlieb. “That is the biggest problem with sentencing someone like him to prison. At some point he’ll come out. He comes from a really good family. So I am sure that they will get him help. “
Broward prosecutors initially charged Evans with 17 charges of animal cruelty but dismissed 15 counts in exchange for the admission of guilt, Gottlieb said.
Had Evans been convicted on all 17 counts, he could have been sentenced to 85 years in prison.
“He has been in prison since November 15, 2017,” said Gottlieb. “It comes to four years. My client wanted a closure. “
Moffatt says the admission of guilt goes a long way in ending a case that many simply cannot forget.
“Now that he pleads guilty, we feel like we’re finally getting justice for Ollie,” she said.
Susannah Bryan can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan
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