Jason Brown of Reno never had a problem finding victims for what he referred to as his “house of pain.” The clean-cut, 25-year-old former presidential scholar would simply answer ads for free dogs on Craigslist.
And then he would torture and kill them in a Super 8 motel room, while capturing the horrific acts on cell phone videos.
“Pugs, instead of barking, Pugs sound like humans, like little kids,” he tells a friend in one of the videos, ABC News reports. “They yell. Let me show you. You want me to get one tonight?”
At today’s sentencing hearing, only Washoe District Judge Elliott Sattler, lawyers and a detective could view the videos. But others in the courtroom, including the weeping former pet parents who’d given their dogs to Brown, could hear the clinking sounds of knives and the terrified squealing of the dogs.
“Those images I watched, I will never forget,” Sattler said. “The cruelty, the sadism you exhibited is simply shocking.”
He sentenced Brown to up to 28 years in Nevada state prison — a longer sentence than Brown would have gotten had he killed a human being and been charged with manslaughter.
“The part that frightened me most about the videos is that you produced them in the first place,” Sattler said. “That tells me you wanted to go back and watch them again — a trophy, if you will, of your behavior. You watched with friends and laughed.”
Brown was arrested in July 2014 after a maid found four dog heads in a mini-fridge, as well as dog limbs, two bloody kitchen knives and bloodstains in the motel room Brown had been renting.
Prosecutors said Brown tortured and killed five dogs in the motel room and a sixth at another location.
Even Brown’s own lawyer, John Oakes, said the videos and pictures in this case “take your breath away. Over 40 years, I’ve seen people killed in every way, shape or form. But this case is a first for me in a lot of ways.”
Brown claims he respects animals and doesn’t remember doing any of those horrible acts because he was high on heroin, meth and cocaine. He pleaded no contest to seven counts of willfully torturing and killing animals.
“I cannot explain the grief I felt for this horrible situation,” Brown said at the hearing.
He’ll have the next 28 years to figure it out — although he’ll be eligible for parole in 11 years.
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