RENO, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — A Reno man has been arrested on charges of alleged animal cruelty after animal remains were discovered in his motel room. 24-year-old Jason Shilo Brown is being accused of killing several small dogs at the motel in south Reno.
According to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation is ongoing, but they believe no one else was involved. The biggest question detectives are investigating is why. “Because at this point we have a lot of unknown questions,” said Undersheriff Tim Kuzanek. “But again, he is in custody and we don’t any reason to believe there was anyone else out there involved in this particular case.”
Brown was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of animal cruelty. He is being charged with five felony counts of willful torture of an animal. The incident happened at the Super 8 motel off south Virginia Street, across from the Meadowood Mall.
Employees notified police Tuesday after seeing the unthinkable. “Upon arriving there, along with animal control officers, they located several dismembered dogs inside the room,” said Kuzanek.
SEE the video here:
Kuzanek said it is unknown where the dogs came from. “Our investigators are working through that process, trying to determine where he was able to obtain these animals and we’ll let you know when we figure that out.”
Thanks to Cooney’s Law, signed by Governor Brian Sandoval in 2011, cruelty to animals always carries a felony charge, so Brown could potentially face up to 35 years in prison. “The five felony counts individually could result in penalties up to seven years in prison a piece,” said Kuzanek.
Brown has also been charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance. Kuzanek said this case is a big priority for the Sheriff’s Office. “We’re going to resolve this case and we’re going to continue to protect animals and try to prevent animal cruelty in every way that we can going forward.”
Brown is currently being held in the Washoe County Jail and his bail has been set at $55,000. Kuzanek said it is unknown when the case will be concluded and no court date has been set.
Anyone with information related to the case is asked to contact Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900.
6th dead dog connected to Reno torture case
A Reno man who’s been accused of dismembering five dogs at a Super 8 Motel in Reno faces an additional charge of willfully torturing a sixth dog at another local hotel, according to court documents.
Jason Brown, 24, is accused of six felony counts of torturing or maiming and killing an animal and two counts of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.
His bail was raised Friday to $70,000 cash, up from $35,000, Washoe County Deputy District Attorney Derek Dreiling said.
Dreiling said video evidence of a sixth dog that was tortured and killed was recently found taken at a different hotel.
“Worst-case scenario is he get the maximum sentence for all eight charges,” said Dreiling, who’s prosecuting the case. “All of them carrying anywhere from one to four years in prison each, 32 years if the judge decides to give him the maximum sentence and run it consecutively.”
“The most he can be theoretically in prison for is 24 years,” he said, referring to the felony counts of torturing the dogs. “He’s probably not going to prison on drug charges because he has no prior history.”
But it’s still too early to tell what Brown will receive, Drieling said Friday.
Cooney’s Law, passed by Nevada lawmakers in 2011, could result in felony charges for Brown. The law was passed in memory of a dog that was sliced in the stomach with a box cutter.
Before Cooney’s Law passed, first offenders who willfully tortured an animal were charged with a misdemeanor, Dreiling said.
“It had to be an animal of another,” Dreiling said. “If it wasn’t someone else’s animal, if it was your own, it was misdemeanor.”
“It was changed so that no matter whose it was, whether or not it’s an animal you own or someone else’s, you still get charged with a felony charge,” he said. “And realistically, they’re his. He could have bought them from someone selling the dogs, or who knows where he’s been getting all of these dogs.”
Brown is scheduled for a hearing at 1:30 p.m. Monday for a mandatory status conference.
A preliminary hearing is also set at 1:30 p.m. July 29.
Cooney’s Law advocate
Gina Greisen, who pushed for Cooney’s Law during the state Legislature in 2011, said she was glad Brown’s bail was raised.
“I’m sorry, but just a money amount does not protect the public,” said Greisen, a Las Vegas resident.
“People are afraid, and especially right now because his name was taken off the (Washoe County Sheriff’s Office) website, and people keep thinking he’s out,” she said.
Spokesman Bob Harmon said Brown is still in custody and in tighter security. His name was removed from the agency’s website because of Brown’s high-profile case, he said.
“We take steps for the safety of the facility and the people we serve,” Harmon said.
“We’re are very thoroughly and actively investigating this case to ensure that we’re able to find out all the circumstances and that justice is done,” he said.
Greisen said she thinks about when Brown might be released, and that worries her.
Brown will be supervised daily if he makes bail, according to court documents. He’ll also be required to wear a monitor and turn in his passport and his firearms. But for Greisen, that’s not enough.
“GPS monitoring does nothing for me, checking in does nothing for me,” Greisen said. “There’s a big difference in time between checking in on him today and checking in on him tomorrow.”