“He was either playing golf, drinking vodka, or yelling at his dog,” neighbor Denise Cantor said to the local NBC affiliate. “He was always outside in the yard at all hours, drunk, and this doesn’t surprise us one bit. His wife is rude, too.”

A Missouri software tycoon has been charged with allegedly beating his dog with a hammer and shooting him. When Jason Hampton was contacted by police, he told them that his dog, Trooper, had been ran over by a car. But once a veterinarian took a good look at the little yellow lab mix, she knew that couldn’t be the truth.

Here’s the story from the Riverfront Times:

A Farmington man accused of shooting a dog and hitting him over the head with a hammer is now facing a felony charge.

Jason Hampton, 57, was charged yesterday with “Animal Abuse – 2nd/Subsequent Offense Or By Torture And/Or Mutilation While Animal Was Alive” in St. Francois County. He was booked into jail and released on a $10,000 bond.

Hampton, 57, allegedly confessed to shooting Trooper, a yellow lab mix, in the neck and then beating him on the head with a hammer in February. The dog was left paralyzed and spent weeks in a ditch before being brought to the home of Katrina Campbell, an animal rescue volunteer, on the evening of February 19.  

Dr. Mandy Ryan was the first to start looking into Trooper’s story after his injuries appeared more consistent with abuse than a car accident. She says that she approached Hampton after locals pointed her in his direction. 

Late last week, Ryan went to the sheriff’s office where she spoke with a deputy and provided a statement. At the time, Ryan said the deputy acted as if the case would be easy to prosecute. However, later that same day, Campbell overheard the deputy talking about Trooper’s case in a local bar. When she approached him, he seemed uninterested in the case. 

The deputy’s reaction left Campbell and Ryan feeling uneasy about the outcome. In Farmington, law enforcement has little support when it comes to animal abuse cases and they are often over looked. But yesterday, prosecutors did indeed file charges. 

Trooper will remain in the hospital for a few more weeks, according to Ryan, where doctors have given him a five percent chance to walk again. “So far he’s gone against all odds,” she says. 

Do you think the deputy and other law enforcement officials were reticent to go after this rich and powerful man?

Will he get off easy with his high-priced lawyers?