Muskogee pair intended to make belt out of skinned puppy, officials allege

MICHAEL KIMBALL Modified: June 18, 2009 at 4:47 pm •  Published: June 18, 2009
MUSKOGEE — Muskogee County prosecutors on Tuesday charged a man and woman with fatally shooting and skinning a 7-week-old puppy they intended to make into a belt.

A judge ordered mental competency testing for Austin Michael Mullins, 26, and Krystal Lynn Lewis, 23, after prosecutors charged them Tuesday with one felony count each of cruelty to animals, court records show. Officials accuse the pair of shooting “Poplin,” Lewis’ Jack Russell terrier puppy, on June 9 at a Muskogee park.

Muskogee County sheriff’s Deputy George Roberson said Mullins shot the puppy 10 times with a .22-caliber pistol at a park near town, and Lewis then skinned the puppy at her apartment. The pair nailed the hide to a board displayed at the apartment and told investigators they planned to have it made into a belt.

Lewis told authorities she decided to kill the puppy because she couldn’t afford to care for him, but investigators think a more likely scenario is she decided to kill Poplin because the puppy was a gift from a female ex-lover she doesn’t get along with anymore, Roberson said. Lewis and Mullins are friends.

Mullins and Lewis are being held in the Muskogee County jail in lieu of $25,000 bail, a spokeswoman said.


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