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Carter Co. man accused of killing neighbor's dog

John Thompson • Jan 13, 2014 at 4:32 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A man was arrested by the Carter County Sheriff's Department early Sunday morning on an outstanding warrant charging him with killing his neighbor's dog.

Steven Eugene Melton, 65, 333 Sgt. Melton Mountain Circle, was arrested by Deputy Isaac Rhea on charges of intentional killing of a domestic animal and reckless endangerment.

The charges stem from an alleged incident on Nov. 23, when the dog was shot. Rhea had responded to the incident and talked with the dog's owner, Tyler Whitson.

Whitson said he and a friend were working on his trail bike and he had let his 2-year-old daughter and his dog outside while he was working. At one point, Whitson said he saw his dog at the end of the driveway, near the road and he called for it. At the same time, he heard a gun shot and saw the dog jump up and fall to the ground. When he looked over the hill, he said he saw Melton get into his truck and go over the hill.

Rhea said Melton had made previous threats to kill the dog. Rhea said at the time of the shooting, the dog was on its owner's property at the bottom of a wooded bank, about 100 feet from Melton's location. Rhea said to shoot the dog, Melton had to shoot from above Whitson and the others in the yard and toward Jenkins Hollow Road.

Melton appeared in Sessions Court on Monday. Judge John Walton set Melton's bond at $1,000 and ordered him to have no contact with Tyler Whitson. Walton continued the case to March 25.