Owner of deadly dogs pleads not guilty

Alexander

The three pit bulls Kentucky State Police believes are responsible for the death of a Benton man are still alive and quarantined at Marshall County Animal Care and Control, Marshall County Attorney Jason Darnall confirmed last week. He said protocol regarding vicious animals is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, and he's unaware of any definite plans regarding the future of the animals.

Darnall said KSP Det. Brian Hill reported he is still pursuing various leads and that may include the need to have one or more persons either come to the shelter or take new photographs to identify the dogs in quarantine.

Daniel K. Alexander, 29, of Gilbertsville, pleaded not guilty in Marshall District Court, where he will return on July 31 for a preliminary hearing. Alexander is listed by KSP as one of the owners of the three pit bulls allegedly responsible for mauling to death 46-year-old Brian S. Butler of Benton.

Butler's body was found on June 28 by a passing motorist on McCoy Lane in Gilbertsville near 49 Crick Trailer Park Drive, but the warrant of arrest states Alexander admitted to police he saw the body in the ditch near his mailbox but didn't report it to authorities. He allegedly confessed to stopping and examining the body but when he didn't recognize the person, went about his business picking up his pack of cigarettes before leaving for a friend's house.

According to police documents, Alexander was unable to immediately exit his driveway because the motorist who called dispatch to report Butler lying in the ditch was blocking the driveway. Alexander reportedly told the motorist to move their vehicle so he could leave but the she pointed to the ditch and explained there was a body, asking if he knew who it was. He allegedly told her he needed to leave to go pick up his child and again asked her to move, left the scene and went to a friend's house down the road.

Hill noted in the citation that Alexander's action delayed the response of Butler receiving medical treatment, and that giving a bath to one of the dogs prevented police from collecting "crucial evidence" that would have aided investigators in determining the death of Butler.

Hill reported that when police arrived at the scene to begin the investigation, two pit bulls, later identified by Alexander and Tonya Wilson as two of their dogs, walked by the scene barking at the officers. Officers then followed the dogs to Alexander and Wilson's home and Wilson held the dogs while investigators took photos of them. Suspected blood was on both dogs and both were quarantined by animal control on the evening of June 28 due to the evidence located on the dogs, which is not detailed beyond in the report beyond "suspected blood."

At the time of the initial investigation on June 28, because the dog inside the home was clean, Hill said investigators didn't believe it was involved in the attack. But because of later statements made by Alexander, animal control quarantined that dog as well.

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