UPDATE (Nov. 20, 2019): Michael Lukas was sentenced to 2.5 years in the Department of Correction, with 240 days executed and 670 days suspended to probation.
GREENWOOD, Ind. – Michael Lukas, 35, of Greenwood, faces a felony charge after allegedly beating his mother’s 16-year-old border collie to death.
“Under existing Indiana law animal abuse is normally a misdemeanor offense. However, when the act(s) result in the death of that animal the charge can be elevated to a felony. That is what is alleged to have happened here and that is therefore the appropriate charge.” said Johnson County prosecutors.
Police say the investigation began on July 27, 2019 when a woman called to say she had video evidence of her brother, Lukas, abusing their mother’s dog.
The woman said she found the dog, named Gypsy, dead inside Lukas’ mother’s home.
Lukas was inside the house when the caller found Gypsy, and he claimed he didn’t know what happened.
According to police, the woman presented security footage from inside the home, and officers interviewed additional family members about the incident.
Police say Lukas is visibly angry and upset in the video. He is seen pacing the room, sweating profusely, and yelling profanities and aggressive phrases towards Gypsy.
You can hear him hit and kick Gypsy repeatedly in the video, and at some points you can hear Gypsy whimpering, police say.
It appears Gypsy died after about 12 minutes of abuse.
Police called Gypsy’s owner, who said Gypsy was fine when she left the house. She was very puzzled as to why Lukas would kill the dog considering Gypsy slept with him most nights.
She told police she wanted Lukas out of her house because her three pet cats were still inside the home.
Police say Lukas admitted to kicking and throwing Gypsy.
Lukas was arrested and taken to the Johnson County Jail.
The felony charge carries a penalty of 6 months to 2.5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
“For many in our community fur is just as much family as is flesh. I understand the emotionally charged responses which have been flooding in and want the public to know we take the alleged acts of Mr. Lukas very seriously. I look forward to having the opportunity to present our evidence in the appropriate forum.” said Johnson County prosecutors.