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Jason O'Neil Johnson

Jason O’Neil Johnson

INDEPENDENCE — An Independence father who beat his family’s dog and had his son video record part of it has been sentenced to one year of probation, community service, and psychological evaluation and treatment.

Jason O’Neil Johnson, 42, was sentenced Tuesday in Buchanan County District Court on the aggravated misdemeanor charge of animal torture, the Buchanan County Attorney’s Office announced in a news release.

A jury found Johnson guilty on Aug. 8, and he sought a deferred judgment during the contested sentencing hearing, the release says. Prosecutors, however, sought a 365-day jail sentence with 90 days imposed and the remainder suspended while Johnson complied with probation supervision for two years, submitted to a psychological evaluation and treatment, and completed community service.

After hearing arguments from the parties, District Court Judge George L. Stigler sentenced Johnson to a suspended minimum fine of $625, a 30-day jail sentence with only seven days imposed and the remainder suspended while Johnson complies with one year of probation supervision, a psychological evaluation and treatment, and 16 hours of community service.

The charge against Johnson arose from an incident on May 17 when Johnson held down the family dog, Daisy, and repeatedly beat her with a belt and closed fists because she had chewed on a pair of sunglasses Johnson left out.

Johnson made his son record a portion of the beating and sent the video to Johnson’s other children to show the children what happens when they fail to properly secure Daisy in her kennel.

Officers with the Independence Police Department subsequently rescued Daisy from Johnson and charged him criminally.

Animal torture, first offense, is an aggravated misdemeanor and carries a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine between $625 and $6,250.

Additionally, anyone convicted of animal torture must submit to a psychological evaluation and treatment and complete a community work requirement, which may include a work requirement performed at an animal shelter or pound, the release says.