Defendant pleads guilty in 'heinous' animal cruelty case | The Wilson Times
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Defendant pleads guilty in 'heinous' animal cruelty case

Posted on April 1, 2021

Local newsTop news | 252-265-7879



Editor’s note: This story contains graphic details that may be disturbing to some readers.

A man who prosecutors say stole his aunt’s bullmastiff, stabbed it to death with a screwdriver and used a chainsaw to cut the dog in half has pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge.

Jonathan Maxey Bulluck Jr., 25, of Golden Villas Drive in Rocky Mount, pleaded guilty to one count of felony cruelty to animals Wednesday in Wilson County Superior Court. Bulluck entered an Alford plea, an arrangement in which a defendant doesn’t admit guilt, but acknowledges there’s evidence that could lead to a conviction.

Superior Court Judge Lamont Wiggins sentenced Bulluck, who had no prior criminal record, to 4-14 months in prison along with mental health therapy, treatment and counseling. He will receive credit for time served and will be required to enroll in mental health counseling services upon his release from prison.

When Bulluck was arrested in January 2020, Wilson County Sheriff Calvin Woodard described the dog’s killing as one of the most heinous animal cruelty cases in recent memory.

“It was like a something out of a horror movie,” Woodard said. “This was just a heinous act from the beginning to the end.”


The dog’s owner told deputies she returned from work to her home on Robbins Road outside Sharpsburg and her nephew who was staying the night with her said her dog jumped on a 2-year-old also staying at the home, according to the sheriff’s office.

She told authorities she checked on the child and couldn’t find any injuries.

When she awoke the following morning, she noticed Bulluck, her nephew, was gone and her dog had been taken off its leash, officials said.

The owner told deputies she remembered her nephew saying he “would’ve killed the dog,” according to sheriff’s officials.

Bulluck’s aunt tried to contact him but was unsuccessful. That’s when she called authorities.

Deputies and family members eventually found the dog’s body in a shallow grave down a dirt path off Robbins Road.

Investigators determined Bulluck stole the dog during the night of Jan. 24, 2020, and carried it down a long dirt path, officials previously said.

Bulluck stabbed the dog multiple times with a screwdriver and used a chainsaw to cut the dog in half, Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Whitehurst told the court Wednesday. Whitehurst said deputies only recovered half of the dog’s body.

Bulluck’s attorney, Tom Sallenger, told the court that his client suffers from bipolar disorder and his client said the dog had “humped” another child.

The entire family asked for Bulluck to receive mental health counseling and therapy, Sallenger told the court.

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