Three men accused of choking and killing puppy

Suspects deny allegations, according to deputies

POSTED: 1:23 PM Feb 21 2013   UPDATED: 11:56 PM Feb 21 2013
PITT COUNTY -

Three men, claiming to be brothers, were arrested for allegedly choking and beating a puppy to death.

Pitt County deputies charged Evan Harrington, Demetrius Crumble and Kendrick Fitchett (L-R) with felony cruelty to animals.

The incident happened on Tuesday at about 5:00 p.m., on Carolyn Street in Pitt County, investigators said.

According to deputies, a neighbor, Amy Wirthlin, said she saw three men harming a white Pit Bull Terrier mix. Wirthlin told authorities she saw the men go and come back with a cord to wrap around the dogs neck. Deputies said they later learned it was a telephone cord. 

The witness said she saw each man take turns choking the dog, according to investigators. The suspects also allegedly used a PVC pipe to beat the animal.  According to the witness, the men then took the dog to a ditch behind their home and came back without the animal. Authorities said they later  found the dog dead in a ditch.

"It's just very sad and disgusting that someone would be that demented to do that to an animal, [especially] a puppy," Wirthlin said.

Deputies said Crumble, Harrington and Fitchett deny the witness' allegations. But  the suspects admitted to finding the deceased animal and disposing it into the ditch, investigators said.

Crumble was held at the Pitt County Detention Center under a $60,000 bond, while Harrington and Fitchett have $35,000 bonds. Crumble received a higher bond because authorities said they found marijuana in his pocket when they searched him at the jail.