Mental exam ordered for man charged with beating puppies to death
During a Nov. 7 hearing in Douglas County, Circuit Judge Craig Carter ordered a mental examination of Josiah Wheat to be completed by the Missouri Department of Mental Health before the case proceeds. Wheat, a Vanzant resident, is charged with five counts of animal abuse by torturing and/or mutilating an animal while it is alive. The charges stem from an incident in September when the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received numerous calls from Facebook viewers all over the U.S. and Canada referencing a Facebook video reportedly posted by Wheat showing him beating a group of five puppies to death with a baseball bat. According to the Springfield News-Leader, the video was approximately one minute long. A case review is scheduled for Dec. 5.
Wheat could face up to four years in prison for each count if convicted of the class E felonies.