Prosecutors sought to prove that Ingram’s intention was to prolong the pain and suffering of the puppy. “This young man had a history of violence toward people and animals. It’s our contention that he derived pleasure from hurting Thor,” prosecutor Maria Dominguez said. “That makes this all the more heinous.”

Damien Ingram — of Kewanee — was arrested late last year after authorities found a mixed breed puppy outside an apartment complex with multiple cuts across his throat area.

Broadcast reports indicate that during the trial, defense attorneys claimed the dog — now known as “Thor” — had mange, and that Ingram was just trying to put the dog out of his misery. But prosecutors believe the dog only had fleas — not mange.

“I know my son is not perfect,” Lisa Ingram told the local NBC affiliate. “But I don’t think he did this maliciously. I think he was just trying to help the dog so he wouldn’t suffer.”

Judging from the t-shirts some Kewanee residents wore in the courtroom that day, it’s fair to say that they didn’t share Mrs. Ingram’s positive assessment of her son’s motives. The shirts, made by a local church group, had a picture of the dog in his bandages and featured these words:



But the real question was this: what had the jury decided?

What would become of Damien Ingram?