Man pleads guilty after decapitating puppy in front of children and girlfriend

James Xavier Quattlebaum
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Friday, April 15, 2016

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A man is sentenced to five years in jail and five years probation after pleading guilty to multiple charges including unlawful neglect of a child.

According to court documents, James Quattlebaum entered a guilty plea for ill treatment of animals, unlawful neglect of a child, second degree domestic violence and resisting arrest with force.

Quattlebaum was arrested in October accused of using a knife to kill one of his girlfriend's puppies in front of her young children.


News 12 at 6 o'clock / Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It could be several years before James Quattlebaum, 25, is allowed to be near kids or animals again after the grisly death of a puppy over the weekend.

"When they got there, they were informed by the victim that her boyfriend had decapitated one of their small puppies in front of her two young children," said Sgt. Jennifer Hayes, Aiken Department of Public Safety.

The children were only 7 and 11 years old. The incident report says Quattlebaum used a "large kitchen knife" to kill the 2 week old pup in front of the children.

Friend and neighbor Mary Ella Byrd doesn't think the children will ever forget what they saw.

"No no no no no no no. You don't get over nothing like that. See all that blood and the dog decapitated in front of you? You don't get over that," Byrd said.

Byrd says she was at that house only two weeks ago and saw a mild-mannered dog.

"He didn't bark or nothing. The dog didn't even bark when I walked in the house," Byrd said. "He had no right doing that dog like that. He should be punished."

Officers say he will. The 25-year-old is still in jail now facing four felony counts: 1 Ill treatment of animals, 2 counts Unlawful Conduct Toward a Child, 1 Throwing Bodily Fluids on an Officer.

"He was very resistive of being placed under arrest and actually spit in one of our officer's face," Sgt. Hayes said.

It would be a traumatic experience for anyone, but Byrd says she's most concerned about the kids.

"If you do that in front of a child, the child will think they'll be next," she said.

When News 12 looking into Quattlebaum's history, we found an incident report from May where he was arrested for Assault and Battery for pushing someone else's 17-year-old son.

Only four months later, a puppy is dead and his girlfriend's kids have to deal with what they saw the rest of their life.

Officers say Quattlebaum was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when the crime was committed, and it all started with an argument he was having with his girlfriend.

According to South Carolina law, Quattlebaum could face up to five years for the animal cruelty charge, up to another ten for each unlawful act toward a child and up to 15 years for spitting in the officer's face. It all depends on how a judge wants him to serve those years.


Monday, Oct. 12, 2015

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT)-- An Aiken man is behind bars accused of using a knife to kill one of his girlfriend's puppies.

Aiken Public Safety officers charging James Xavier Quattlebaum, 25, with criminal domestic violence, ill treatment of animals, throwing bodily fluids at an officer, two counts of unlawful conduct toward a child, and damage to city property.

According to the incident report, Quattlebaum's girlfriend told police he killed the 2-week-old puppy in front of her and her two children after an argument.

The incident happened Saturday, October 10, 2015 at a home on Kershaw Street NE.

Investigators said Quattlebaum spit at one of the officers and kicked the door of a patrol car repeatedly when he was taken into custody.

Officers found the dog's body in a trash can outside of the home.