A Kentucky woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Monday after admitting to ordering her pit bull to attack a man, resulting in his death.
Melissa Wolke, 40, of Conway, pleaded guilty in October to the Jan. 10, 2020, killing of Donald Abner, 55. Authorities testified that Wolke’s neighbor saw her assaulting Abner at her home while saying “Good boy, get him” to her pit bull, and called the police, WKYT reported.
The neighbor allegedly captured part of the attack on video, which they later deleted because it made them “sick to watch.”
Wolke had to be tased to get her off Abner, WTVQ said at the time. She also refused to call off the pit bull, a former fighting dog named Denali, even after police arrived.
Police later said the animal was so aggressive, they were forced to shoot him on-site.
“The way I look at it, she used her animal, a pit bull, as a weapon to help her in this altercation,” Kentucky State Police Trooper Scottie Pennington told WKYT.
State Police Detective Ryan Loudermilk testified shortly after the incident that Wolke was distraught and sobbing after the attack. “Oh my God, I went ‘redneck’ on him,” she reportedly said.
She later told detectives that while she couldn’t remember the fight, she had a history of excessive drinking. The only alcohol found at the scene was an empty bottle of Jagermeister.
Abner had allegedly been staying with Wolke for about three months before the attack. Investigators said Wolke confirmed they had been friends for about two decades.
Although the Rockcastle County coroner reported that Abner suffered bite wounds on the neck and face, his official cause of death was ruled asphyxiation. He had also broken a bone in his neck.