Brooksville man accused of beating family dog to death with flashlight

Justin Niederhelman, 23, was charged with animal cruelty and violating pre-trial release. Hernando Co. Jail booking photo
Justin Niederhelman, 23, was charged with animal cruelty and violating pre-trial release. Hernando Co. Jail booking photo

BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – A Brooksville man is accused in the disturbing killing of his family pet. Investigators say he beat a dachshund to death with a flashlight then hid the dog’s body in a bag of dog food.

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a home on High Corner Road in Brooksville at 10:48 p.m. on Thursday. Deputies spoke to the dachshund’s owner, Thomas Niederhelman, who said that his son, Justin Niederhelman age 23, had admitted to repeatedly hitting the dog in the head with a flashlight. The pet eventually died from its injuries.

Niederhelman told deputies that his son tried to hide the dog’s body in a bag of dog food. He then allegedly placed the bag outside.

Justin Niederhelman denied being at the home, but deputies say his mother Mary said he was at the home earlier in the day. Justin Niederhelman had been arrested on a felony domestic violence charge in July and was not supposed to have contact with his father as a condition of his pre-trial release.

He was charged with one count of animal cruelty and violating pre-trial release. He is being held without bond at the Hernando County Detention Center.

 

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