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Three men charged in slaying, mutilation of dog


OKMULGEE, Okla. (AP) -- Prosecutors have charged three men with animal cruelty in the Oct. 31 killing and beheading a dog at a Halloween party.

Danny Lyle Smith, 20, and Joshua Ray Cable, 18, both of Okmulgee; and Joel Thomas, 19, of Morris, were charged Tuesday in Okmulgee County District Court with one count of animal cruelty, records indicate.

One teen-age male arrested in connection with the mutilation hasn't been charged.

Smith, Cable and Thomas, while acting in concert, mutilated a medium-size black dog by cutting off its head with a knife, prosecutors allege.

Danny Smith allegedly stole the dog from the fenced-in front yard of his mother, Anita Smith, said Jason Spradling, a detective with the Okmulgee Police Department.

"To me, it fits the model of a satanic ritual," Spradling said. "It's unfathomable for kids to do this."

The crime is punishable by a fine of up to $500 and a maximum prison sentence of five years.

Danny Smith is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail at the Okmulgee County Jail, and Thomas is in custody in lieu of $20,000 bail, Undersheriff Eddie Rice said. Cable was released after posting $1,500 bail, Spradling said.

The three are scheduled to appear in court next week, the detective said.

Thomas, Danny Smith and Cable were among those attending the party when the group decided to have an animal sacrifice, Spradling said.

Danny Smith stole his mother's dog from her yard across the street, Spradling alleged. The animal was taken into an alley, where Smith cut the dog's throat and others took turns stabbing and kicking the animal, Spradling alleged.

After the dog was dead, Thomas allegedly cut off its head with a pocketknife and the animal's body was placed on a fence post, police said.

Satanic literature was recovered in Thomas' apartment, the detective said.

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