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Detroit Man Accused of Stealing, Torturing Ex-Girlfriend’s Dog Receives Sentence

LANSING After pleading guilty to one count of Animal Torture in the First Degree with a habitual 4th offender sentence enhancement, Julius Holley was sentenced yesterday to 5-15 years imprisonment, reserved restitution, and a prohibition on owning or possessing any animal, as well as a prohibition against contacting the human victim, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced.

After a series of stalking incidents, Holley broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend in October of 2022. He stole and damaged her property and took her Yorkshire Terrier mix dog. He then recorded himself beating and torturing the dog and sent the videos to his ex-girlfriend. The dog was later abandoned in a bucket next to a house and taken from that location by Michigan Humane to ensure it could not be abused again. When the case garnered media attention, Holley fled the state. He was extradited from Ohio in late 2022 and has remained in custody since. The dog is alive today.

I want to express my gratitude to the dedicated prosecutors in my office, as well as the staff of Michigan Humane,” said Nessel. “Animal abuse often goes hand-in-hand with domestic abuse and other crimes and Michigan Human provides support to pet owners who are victims of domestic violence and may be reluctant to leave their abuser if it means leaving their pet behind. The victims in this case can rest assured knowing society is being protected from this defendant’s abuse.

In Michigan, a person who tortures or kills a pet with the intent to cause mental suffering or distress to another person, or to exert control over another person, is guilty of a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The 2019 law, MCL 750.50b(3), recognizes the connection between animal abuse and domestic violence and provides law enforcement with the tools necessary to hold dangerous perpetrators accountable.

Holley has a history of violence against multiple women, including convictions for criminal sexual conduct and domestic violence dating back to 1992.

The case against Holley is part of a partnership between the Department of Attorney General and Michigan Humane to investigate and prosecute animal abuse crimesMichigan Humane provides a Safety Net pet fostering program for people who need a safe place to temporarily house their pets. People in need of the service, or those looking to volunteer to foster animals in these situations, should call Michigan Humane at 866-648-6263.

Portions of this project are funded in part by Grant No. WE AX 0030 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.


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