Former Razorback Pleads Not Guilty To Animal Cruelty In Dog Death

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A former Razorback football player pleaded not guilty on Wednesday (April 16) to a felony animal cruelty charge and is scheduled to appear in court again in June

Jarrett Lake, 22, entered the plea before a magistrate judge in a courtroom at the Washington County Detention Center and was given a June 18 date to appear in Circuit Court, according to the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Lake is charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals, the prosecutor’s office said.

A not guilty plea is common at arraignments to allow a case to proceed in the legal system.

Lake was arrested April after police say he abandoned two of his dogs, resulting in the death of one of them.

He was booked into the detention center on a $2,500 bond, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Fayetteville Animal Control Officer Lawrence Kimble said he responded to Lake’s rented home on Jeremiah Place on Dec. 29 in reference to an abandoned animal call. Feces covered the floor, and the officer said he found a dead pit bull lying beside a baby stroller in the garage.

Animal Control determined Lake had moved out at least six days earlier.

Officers with the Fayetteville Police Department also found a pit bull inside that was “severely malnourished,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The dog received medical care from the Fayetteville Animal Shelter.

An examination of the dead pit bull revealed no food in the stomach, but rather a small piece of black plastic. The dog’s vertebrae, ribs and pelvic bones were visible through the skin, the affidavit states.

Police tried to contact Lake after finding the dogs, but he was out-of-state at a football camp, Lake’s aunt told officers. Lake called the officers back and told them the dogs were his responsibility, but he would surrender the animals to a shelter.

Based on the investigation, a warrant was then issued for Lake’s arrest, the affidavit states.

Lake played on the team from 2010 to 2013. Lake recorded 77 tackles in 2013 as a senior, tied for second most for the Razorbacks.

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