December 6, 2017

KEY LARGO — Noah Mitchell, a 40-year-old convicted dog beater, was sentenced last week by Monroe County Judge Ruth Becker to nine months in county jail followed by five years of probation.

Mitchell was found guilty in a November trial by jury of severely beating his black Labrador retriever-mix puppy named Bubba in October 2010. It was Mitchell’s second trial on the matter after his 2012 guilty conviction for animal abuse was overturned by an appellate court that found a former state prosecutor improperly shifted the burden of proof onto the defense during closing arguments.

According to the arrest report, Bubba had jumped up to take a grilled steak off of Mitchell’s kitchen counter, which prompted him to grab the dog by the collar, slam it to the ground and then kneel on his chest. He then put the dog in its crate where a police officer later found it to be non-responsive.

As part of his sentence, Mitchell must undergo a psychological evaluation and complete any recommended treatments, as well as eight hours of community service work a month while on probation, which cannot be completed at any place that has or cares for animals.

He cannot possess any animals, nor may he care for animals belonging to others.

He also must pay standard court costs, cost of investigation to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and cost of prosecution including the costs that the state incurred bringing witnesses to the trial.