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Convicted puppy killer gets probation

Kimberly Jordan kjordan@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 15, 2015 at 1:45 PM

Convicted puppy killer David Matson will serve two years supervised probation following his sentencing Thursday in Wilson County Criminal Court.

Matson, of Old Hickory, was arrested Nov. 2, 2012 and charged with aggravated animal cruelty for bludgeoning a puppy to death with a tire iron. A jury found Matson guilty in November.

On Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Tom Swink asked Judge David Durham to impose the maximum sentence in Matson's case.

"I know you've only got a one- to two-year range," Swink said. "This is on the heinous end of the spectrum, I think the sentence ought to be on the heinous end."

Matson's attorney asked Durham to consider a sentence other than prison time.

"He is a candidate for alternative sentencing. There is no real need to incapacitate him with a jail sentence. He has tried to address his problems," he said.

Durham said in looking at the case, "Mr. Matson has no priors. A defendant who is a standard offender, as Mr. Matson is, should be considered for alternative sentencing."

But Durham offered Matson a warning.

"You are to have no pets, no contact with animals and anyone you know who has a pet and brings it to your home, ask them to leave," Durham told Matson.

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