Hamilton man charged with animal cruelty after saying he heard voices

A Hamilton man is facing animal cruelty charges.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office dog warden was called out to an incident at a residence in the 200 block of Race Street in Hamilton on July 1 for a man who had abused his canine, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Upon arrival, it was discovered that a 7-year-old pit bull named Karmin had been put into a chokehold for over three hours, eventually resulting in the animal’s death, the sheriff’s office said in a release.

It was during the investigation, the dog warden was advised the subject, 29-year-old Justin Scott Lunsford, was hearing voices from the television telling him the “dog was evil.”

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Lunsford was arrested today for Cruelty to a Companion Animal, a fifth-degree felony. The necropsy showed evidence of strangulation.

He also faces a charge of possession of controlled substances, as deputies found drugs on him when they arrested him on the warrant, the sheriff’s office said.

The dog’s body has been sent to the Ohio State University for further examination.

“I shake my head trying to figure some people out,” Butler County Sheriff Jones said in a statement. “If ever I were speechless, it would be now.”

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