A district judge on Monday sentenced the man who severed a dog's head with a chainsaw to eight years
Teddy Sexton, 32, pleaded guilty
to fourth-degree extreme cruelty to animals, which carries a sentence of up to 18 months in prison.
But because of Sexton's prior criminal history, he faced up to 15 years, eight of which were mandatory, Defense Attorney Cosme Ripol said.
Sheriff's deputies on Sept. 23, arrested Sexton and Corey Bowen
, 31, for a Sept. 18 incident in which they attempted to cut the throat of a pit bull named Thor with a kitchen knife after it bit a 9-year-old girl during a barbecue at Sexton's Aztec home.
His previous criminal history includes possession of methamphetamine, distribution of marijuana and false imprisonment.
Sexton told police he killed the dog because it bit a child.
Bowen also faces fourth-degree felony extreme cruelty to animals.
"I think the important point in (Sexton's) allocution is he specifically said what he did and at no time mentioned what Corey did," Eric Morrow, Bowen's attorney said. "Once the evidence is known, it will prove my client's innocence."
Deputies initially responded to the residence on Sept. 18 after a neighbor complained about what appeared to be several dogs fighting.
"There was then the sound of a chainsaw and the dogs could not be heard any more," according to court records.
Deputies who responded cleared the call after they learned a child was bitten, the victim's mother was refusing to report the bite and that the owners put the dog down, according to court records.
A Children, Youth and Families Department worker tipped off Sheriff's deputies to the incident again four days later after being notified about several young children suffering from nightmares stemming from the incident.
Sexton's family members deny the children witnessed the incident.
"Teddy came into the house to get the knife and told the adults what was going on," said Bowen's wife, Georgette, in a statement to deputies. "She stated since they knew they were going to kill the dog they kept all the children in the house and away from the door."
Sheriff's deputies determined Thor previously bit a 7-year-old boy in the leg and on the day of the incident nipped a girl in the neck, Black previously said.
"Apparently the girl played with the dog ever since it was a puppy," Black said. "The girl had a small bruise on her neck and small puncture under her chin."
Neither bite was reported to authorities and the girl was not taken to the doctor, he said.
Animal advocates denied the breed had anything to do with biting the kids and it likely was because the dog was unsocialized.
Thor, for the past year, was chained to a utility trailer with a heavy logging chain
secured with a padlock. Investigators believed Thor was chained continuously after Sexton's sister gave him the dog to care for.
Sexton, with good time, could be out of prison in a little more than four years.