By Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A former Stillwater man — sought for a year and a half before being arrested in Palm Beach, Fla. on April Fool’s Day — pleaded guilty Friday to failing to provide necessary medical attention, shots, food and water to two dogs found in a wire crate in his apartment.
Adrian Lamont Burton III, 28, was in Payne County Jail clothing when he appeared Friday before District Judge Phillip Corley, who sentenced him in accordance with a plea agreement with the prosecution.
Burton was given a five-year suspended sentence except 90 days in jail — with an order to not have any animals in his possession while he is on probation, undergo an anger management evaluation, follow any recommendations, and pay $1,260 in assessments plus court costs and the cost of his incarceration.
Burton had been free on $5,000 bail on the animal cruelty charge when he failed to appear in Payne County District Court on Sept. 23, 2020, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest that was served on April 1 of this year in Palm Beach, Fla, court records show.
Stillwater Animal Welfare officers had been sent to The Reserve apartment complex on N. Perkins Road on Oct. 9, 2019, regarding a report of two abandoned dogs in an apartment, an affidavit said.
Burton and his two male roommates did not know each other, but were assigned to the apartment by management, an affidavit said. The roommates said, “their other roommate, Adrian Burton, works out of town and is often gone from the apartment,” the affidavit said.
Burton’s two roommates were “aware Adrian has two German Shepherd/Husky mix dogs that he keeps in a wire crate in his bedroom,” according to an affidavit by Stillwater Police Detective Sherae LeJeune.
One of Burton’s roommates said, “he returned home on Monday, Oct. 7 (2019) to a horrible unknown odor upon entering the apartment. The following morning, the odor was still present. He knocked on Adrian’s door to investigate, but there was no response. On Wednesday, Oct. 9 (2019) he knocked on Adrian’s door and again there was no response. The odor was described at that time as unbearable,” the affidavit said.
The roommate “had not seen Adrian in over two weeks and he assumed he took his dogs with him, since he had not heard them bark or cry. He opened Adrian’s door to make sure the dogs were not left unattended all that time. He discovered they were in fact in the room — still in a wire crate together with no food or water,” the affidavit said.