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Grand jury fails to indict in animal cruelty case

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Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 9:14 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

A Bell County grand jury elected Wednesday to not pursue animal cruelty charges against a Rogers man who reportedly shot and beat his neighbor's pit bull to death.

Nicholas Jay Cummins, 28, had been accused of animal cruelty in connection with the May 18 incident.

An arrest report states Cummins shot two of his neighbor's pit bulls.

Cummins' children had been playing in his home's fenced yard in the 400 block of Gibson Street in Rogers. The children were sticking their hands through the fence to pet the two dogs when one of the dogs reportedly nipped at one of his children.

In response, Cummins retrieved a handgun and shot both pit bulls. One dog fell and the other ran away, the report states.

Cummins then struck the downed dog with a wooden board several times, killing it. He then drove the animal's body out of town and dumped it in a river, police said.

After being confronted by the neighbor, Cummins retrieved the dead animal and returned it to his neighbor.

Cummins admitted to killing the pit bull, the report states. The other dog survived with a bullet wound in its snout.

Assistant Bell County District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said the grand jury likely decided against indicting Cummins because he may have been acting to defend his children.

Indicted Wednesday were:

Kevin Dale Drake, 33, of Belton, on a charge of aggravated sexual assault. Drake is accused of sexually assaulting a 4-year-old girl.

Jason Christopher Walker, 31, of Harker Heights, on a charge of felony theft, more than $1,500. Walker is accused of stealing $4,000 in cash from a vehicle.

Nathan Shane Campbell, 29, of Harker Heights, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, 1 gram or more.

Nila June Barfield, 35, of Rogers, on a charge of forgery.

Andre Franklin, 19, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault.

Kevin Daniel Anderson, 20, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault.

Christopher Wayne Handley, 19, of Morgan's Point, on a charge of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit theft.

Stephen Michael Wright, 19, of Morgan's Point, on a charge of burglary of a habitation with intent to commit theft.

Christopher Cary Adams, 30, of Troy, on a charge of indecency with a child by contact.

Cedric Darius Coleman, 18, of Temple, on a charge of theft of a firearm.

Justin Christopher Bryant, 20, of Belton, on a charge of assault on a public servant.

Pedro Escobar, 26, of Davilla, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Betty Ann Finley, 51, of Temple, on a charge of criminal mischief, less than $20,000.

Alexander Lee, 44, of Temple, on a charge of theft, more than $1,500 but less than $20,000.

Markus Allen Hale, 22, of Belton, on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Cynthia Huster-Forrest, 29, of Austin, on a charge of theft, more than $20,000.

Sylvia Sanchez, 37, of Harker Heights, on a charge of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger.

Daniel Anthony Cespedes-Sosa, 21, of Killeen, on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com of (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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