Man Charged with Killing Family Pet
Lexington County Sheriff’s Department deputies arrested a 37-year-old man on charges that the man killed a six-month-old black female Labrador retriever on Monday, May 27 in an apartment on Landmark Drive near Irmo that the man shared with his wife and the couple’s three-year-old son. The dog was the three-year-old boy’s pet.
Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts said detectives obtained an arrest warrant for John Scott Mill, 37, of 19 Landmark Drive, Apartment 6-D, on a charge of ill-treatment of animals. Mill was being held on Wednesday, May 29 at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.
Mill is scheduled to appear in court at 3 p.m. on Wednesday for a bond hearing, Metts said. The bond hearing will be conducted at a courtroom that is adjacent to the front entrance of the county Detention Center at the Lexington County James R. Metts Law Enforcement Complex, 521 Gibson Road, Lexington.
Under South Carolina law, ill-treatment of animals that involves torture or torment is a felony that carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, Metts said.
An arrest warrant alleges that on May 27 Mill tortured, tormented and cruelly killed the Labrador retriever by taping the dog’s mouth closed with black electrical tape and storing the dog in a laundry closet on the rear porch outside the apartment, where the dog was deprived of food, water and appropriate living space, Metts said. The dog’s body was found at about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 28 by moving company employees who were moving the washer and dryer and other belongings to a new apartment, where Mill planned to live with his wife and son.
Lexington County Animal Services took custody of the Labrador retriever’s body, Metts said. The Sheriff’s Department and Animal Services are working to arrange an autopsy on the dog’s body in order to determine the cause and manner of the dog’s death. The circumstances of the dog’s death and the motive for killing the dog remain under investigation.
The arrest warrant further alleges that after the moving company employees found the dog’s body Mill removed the black electrical tape from the dog’s mouth and threw the dog’s body into a dumpster at the apartment complex on Landmark Drive, Metts said. Mill then drove away in his black 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt sedan.
One of the moving company employees reported the incident to the Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday afternoon, Metts said. Deputies saw Mill riding in his black 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt sedan, which another man had driven back to the Landmark Drive apartment. Deputies detained Mill and later arrested Mill on Tuesday.
Mill’s 27-year-old wife, Neely, and their son left the Landmark Drive apartment on Sunday, May 26 after John Mill, who had been drinking heavily, engaged Neely Mill in a verbal dispute, Metts said. John Mill did not assault or threaten Neely Mill at that time. The Labrador retriever remained at the apartment with John Mill.
After she left their apartment on Sunday, John Mill sent Neely Mill several text messages on her cellular telephone and also called her several times on her cellular telephone, making threats to kill the Labrador retriever, Metts said. Neely Mill did not immediately report the threats to the Sheriff’s Department and did not take the threats seriously because she knew that John Mill was highly intoxicated when he sent the text messages and called her on her cellular telephone.
Neely Mill returned to the Landmark Drive apartment on Tuesday in order to help supervise the removal and transportation of the family’s belongings to their new apartment at the Woodland Village Apartments at 934 Pine Springs Road near Irmo, Metts said.