Convicted puppy killer gets probation

Convicted puppy killer David Matson will serve two years supervised probation following his sentencing Thursday in Wilson County Criminal Court.
Jan 16, 2013
David Matson


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.


John Burke

OUTRAGEOUS!!! He admitted to killing several puppies which he acquired from Craig's list and other sources. He's a monster and neither more innocent or animals or indeed CHILDREN should be anywhere near where this psychotic monster can harm them. Will the judge and your community be so sanguine when he does this again, or escalates to a child in the neighborhood? Get rid of him. Period.


THIS MAKES ME SICK!!!! I saw this on the news this morning and could not believe it. If he has done it before he will do it again. And what if next time he decides to hunt a human being. Will the Judge feel bad about that or will he just get a slap on the hand. OUTRAGE!!! Wilson County you may want to take a second look at who you are hiring.

fireside reader

I can't believe that someone who's been honored by his community to serve as a judge would so betray his constituents by releasing, basically unpunished, a beast of a man who has acted in such a disturbing and awful way, and on more than one occasion.

Sandra Bell

Shame on that "judge". The fact that so many judges are allowing monsters to run free is why we keep seeing these atrocities continue -- little or no consequences for the perpetrators. Logically, anyone who has a shred of concern about the welfare of innocent animals would NEVER advertise them on Craig's List. That's where these sick sadists go to procure living beings to bludgeon or for "religious" ritual sacrifice. Lethal force and violence against people and animals is rampant in our society. Just look at the bludgeoned face of homeless man, Kelly Thomas, who's life was terminated by "peace officers" in Fullerton CA.--not one day of incarceration for the bullies and no justice or closure for Kelly's parents. It's heartbreaking to think what will happen to other animals handed over to this puppy beater/murderer, and it will be done courtesy of that judge, who is now as guilty as the perp.


Does anyone know if he has been relieved of his job at the National Weather Service? I am completely outraged that the judge in this case did not see the incredible sickness of this man. Sometimes I think judges are so far removed from daily life that they need a hit in the head with a frying pan to be brought back into reality. Study after study shows those who hurt animals are likely to eventually turn their anger on to children. What else do you need to know? It is not a case of "Gee, the guy has no priors"'s not like a robbery conviction. This is a psychologically sick individual who needs more than a slap on the wrist. Further, I'd like to ask the judge just who is going to be keeping an eye out to make sure that Mr. Matson doesn't take a puppy wondering the neighborhood (or a child, for that matter) and bludgeon it to death? Lastly, is Mr. Matson's address known, so that those who live in his area can keep an eye out for their own pets and children?

Judge Durham, your judgment in this case is a failure and I would ask that in future, you pull your head out of your ass, and recuse yourself from any further such cases.


So why does his lawyer and him and the Judge be beat to death with a tire iron. How dare him abuse puppies The LAWS in Tennessee suck when it comes to animal cruelty. I love my animals and hope all get good homes. This man and his lawyer are terrible people and deserve to die the way they have killed animals.


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