Molino Husband Pleads To Drug, Animal Cruelty Charges; Wife Facing Trial

January 10, 2013

A Molino husband pleaded no contest Wednesday to drug and multiple animal cruelty charges while his wife continues to face trial for chaining their malnourished pit bulls in their own filth.

Their arrests came about week after a pit bull was shot and killed after charging at a deputy, and after marijuana plants were found in the backyard of the couple’s home, according to Sheriff’s Office reports.

John Oswald pleaded no contest to one felony count of  producing marijuana, two felony counts of causing cruel death, pain and suffering to animals and one felony count of unlawful confinement and abandonment of animals. One additional unlawful confinement charge against Oswald was dropped by prosecutors. He is set for sentencing next week before Judge Gary Bergosh.

Amanda Oswald was also in court Wednesday on two felony counts of causing cruel death, pain and suffering to animals and two felony counts of unlawful confinement and abandonment of animals. Her case was reset for a docket day late next week. She previously pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

Escambia County deputies responded to a complaint about an aggressive pit bull on September 21 at a residence in on Highway 29 near Cotton Lake Road. The dog was loose in the victim’s yard and had attacked and killed her dog.  Deputies kept the pit bull contained in the yard and notified Escambia County Animal Control. But before animal control arrived, the pit bull attempted to attack two officers who then utilized a shotgun to stop the dog, according to the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

When deputies attempted to contact the owner of the dog at a nearby home on Highway 29 across from the Camp Of the Pines, deputies and animal control located two other pit bulls in the backyard of the home.

“I first observed a very skinny brown pit bill dog tied to a large chain barking at me,” one deputy wrote in his report. “I then observed a very skinny black pit bull dog lying on its side, and it appeared to be dead…I observed the black dog lift its head and look at me though due to the dog being so skinny from lack of food, the dog could not stand up.”

Both dogs were “malnourished to the point of starvation”, according to an arrest report, with access to “old nasty water” and no food. Both dogs were tied to heavy chains and were surrounded by flies.

“I then observed the black pit bull who was still lying on his side struggle and make several attempts to stand to his feet. “Once on his feet, his legs were wobbly and looked like he was going to fall over,” the deputy said.

The deputy said in his report that he first though the black dog was covered in ants crawling all over it, but it was actually a “massive amount” of fleas. The dog also reportedly had an eye infection.

The two pit bulls were seized by animal control. Amanda Oswald also voluntarily surrendered a pit bull and three Yorkie dogs from inside the residence to Escambia County Animal Control.

John Oswald was also charged with one felony count of producing marijuana. During the animal cruelty investigation, deputies reported the discovery of  four marijuana plants up to five feet tall and one plant growing in a bucket in the home’s backyard.

Oswald met with a narcotics investigator and admitted that the marijuana plants belonged to him, an arrest report states. “He admitted to having a pill problem prior to being involved in marijuana and that he had started growing marijuana for personal use,” the investigator wrote in his report.

Escambia County Code Enforcement also responded to the home and opened a separate investigation for various code violations.


31 Responses to “Molino Husband Pleads To Drug, Animal Cruelty Charges; Wife Facing Trial”

  1. Sick of this crap on February 18th, 2013 11:58 am

    It is simple tie them up with the same chains and leave them in the back yard!!!
    You can’t tell me that other people didn’t know something was wrong. Those dogs had to be crying in pain and nobody did anything.
    EVERYONE will get whats coming to them. KARMA!!!!!

  2. LFA on January 13th, 2013 6:17 pm

    to ms yes they know for a fact that the dog that killed bengee was owned by these people I know for sure because my mother lives just next door and have had their share of problems with this same dog I went to see my mother one day and this dog was hanging over the fence from a chain choking to death and I went over and held this dog up until I got help from these people, they were inside the house not knowing anything about this what was going on out side

  3. mes on January 13th, 2013 5:10 pm

    To f. a. I didn’t ask what happened to the small dog. I wanted to know if the other dog actually belonged to the family that had the pit bulls. I don’t think they have determined that yet. It was just an assumption on the animal officers part. There are stray dogs all over that hill where they live.

  4. Frankie Archer on January 13th, 2013 1:42 pm

    TO MS, yes i do know what happing to the neighbors dog the owners of the dog were alseep in bed and early that moring the were awaking by this loud barking,screaming,gasping noise of a dog trying breath the last breathe he would ever get,they went outside and there was a 75-80lbs dog slinging what was left of there poor Bengee a little terrier about 25lbs around and around like a mad dog [as what he was] these poor people in ther 80’s hardly have anything ,but them selfs and this little dog that’s now gone. they called the ECSO.and when they arrived that dog was still inside their fenced in yard!!!!!!!so it is pretty clear what dog killed him people need to think of the human side and how they are affected and not only the humain side of animals

  5. mom on January 12th, 2013 10:58 am

    No excuse for this behavior.
    I do not put dog before people,
    nor do I put dogs as deity.
    God created animals for our pleasure.

    Pro_12:10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

  6. David Huie Green on January 12th, 2013 10:45 am

    “How do any of you know what really happened? – - – There are two sides to every story. If you believe everything you read, you’re crazy. ”

    Don’t be cruel to us. Tell us the other side of the story. Explain why the animals were in that shape.

    Explain the real reason their dog was killing the dog of the neighbors.
    Explain why they were illegally chaining the dogs while illegally growing marijuana.
    Explain why the dogs were so skinny and malnourished to the point of starvation.
    Explain why the dogs had no food or fresh water.
    Explain why the dogs were covered with fleas. (Of course, I know fleas are God’s animals too, but feel free to try to use that explanation to justify the suffering of the dogs.)
    Explain why the dogs had untreated eye infections.

    The explanation should be fascinating reading.

    David wondering at the justification to be offered

  7. ms on January 12th, 2013 10:37 am

    I don’t think anyone should start casting stones at people unless they know exactly what went on at this family’s home. Has it even been proved that it was their dog that killed the other one. I’m sure that we all have stray dogs that have come around a time or two.

  8. Marshall on January 12th, 2013 9:40 am

    Yo shame on you…Let’s see…The dog’s were chained and dying! There was marijuana growing in the backyard. One dog was loose and killed a neighbors dog. HMMMM…I would say that alone is enough to do a little judging!!!

  9. adam on January 12th, 2013 12:24 am


    in response. yes some of us know these people. and if you did youd see the type family they all are

  10. Shame on you! on January 11th, 2013 5:55 pm

    How do any of you know what really happened. Your judging and you should be a shamed of yourself. God is the judge and jury. Did you live with these people? How can you write things without even knowing. There are two sides to every story. If you believe everything you read your crazy. God help the country!

  11. Barhar13 on January 11th, 2013 12:34 pm

    CitizenX: Have you ever been hungry? Really hungry? Animals cannot fend for themselves and they rely on us to feed them. Dying of starvation is a painful death and that dog did nothing against humanity to deserve treatment that it was given. It’s not that all of us don’t have our priorities straight but we make choices to have animals. When it is a conscious choice then it is your RESPONSIBILITY ot take proper care of them or take them to a shelter if you can’t. Just don’t eat for a few months and see if you enjoy being a carcass. It probably would be a Godsend to be a carcass after the pain that you will endure from starvation.

  12. Kat on January 11th, 2013 8:04 am

    Yes, the dogs are God’s gift to us to take care of, not abuse. Dogs become what the owner trains them to be; nice or mean, but they were not born that way. A pit bull is a very aggressive dog and it is a shame that the officer had to put one down that was so mistreated to begin with. That dogs blood is on the hands of the owner. I also know that God DOES watch all that goes on and when you or I or anyone else stands before Him, we can not lie or hide or color the truth. People need to think of this when they consider doing what was done to these poor dogs. After all, they did not ask to come into this world. This couple will be dealt with properly by the judicial system. I do find it hard to believe that the woman pled Not Guilty. The proof of their guilt was right before their eyes. If she goes to court, she will find that she may end up with a worse outcome than she bargained for. They are children of God and they need to realize that they hurt Him more than they realize, but He still loves them.

  13. David Huie Green on January 11th, 2013 5:46 am

    “Another fine example of Guilty until proven innocent!!”

    He wasn’t legally guilty until, “John Oswald pleaded no contest ”
    Now he is.

    David for justice

  14. KB on January 10th, 2013 6:05 pm

    Another fine example of Guilty until proven innocent!!

  15. David Huie Green on January 10th, 2013 6:00 pm

    “All animals are GODS ”

    A perfect example of how much difference an apostrophe makes. Had the writer written, “All animals are GOD’S.” that would mean God owned them and was responsible for their upkeep — or at the very least for punishing those who mistreat them.

    As written, however, it means they are deities even more sacred than cows to Hindus.

    David considering violation of First Commandment

  16. David Huie Green on January 10th, 2013 5:56 pm

    CitizenX is right.

    If people are being completely honest when they say their animals have highest priority, then they are saying they will let anything else do without to take care of their animals. That means they would let their children go hungry if that was it took.

    Personally, I’m concerned about all the cruelty to the fleas they kill when they treat their dogs. After all there is a theology that they will be judged for how they treated their animals and fleas are animals too.

    David for flea free life and loved himans

  17. troubled on January 10th, 2013 5:30 pm

    I feed my animals daily. Then I also feed some animals that were thrown in my yard and give shelter,also daily. All animals are GODS and should be treated right! People also get thrown out. Do we npt feed them?

  18. Diva on January 10th, 2013 5:12 pm

    CitizenX, what is wrong with you? There is nothing wrong with being upset about the mistreatment of animals. Decent people care about mistreatment of children AND animals and can pay attention to both. I take it you are not one of those decent people.

  19. CitizenX on January 10th, 2013 11:03 am

    To OMG…your name fits. Where in my comment did I say that that there was nothing wrong with this? No I don’t know these people…I was commenting to people who put animals above humans and would feed them first over humans…their own family…thats ridiculous. Maybe you should take some reading comprehension classes…

  20. Omg on January 10th, 2013 10:11 am

    @citizenx. Really? You see nothing wrong, look again, it says the animals were chained ( how can they eat or drink if they were CHAINED???) And believe me, I take human cruelty very seriously!!! No one again, no one has the right to harm a person or an animal…. The sorry People that did this could have taken the animal to a shelter, that is what they are for!!!! So… As u sit hear trying to talk crap read the story again, and quit grasping for attention… I’m sure that u probably know these 2 worthless people as no one in the right mind could see any humanity in this story!!

  21. Abuse an Animal... Go to Jail on January 10th, 2013 9:20 am

    @CitizenX ~ Regardless of how one feels about animals (mine are part of my family), the state of FL has Felony Animal Cruelty Provisions. The Oswalds were charged with these felonies. A felony conviction can get you up to 5 years prison and $10,000 fine. Why do you want to argue about someone putting animal cruelty over human cruelty? This story has nothing to do with that. These dogs were chained and starved; not able to fend for themselves. Starvation is one of the most severe forms of animal abuse.Folks that harm animals often go on to harm humans, making animal cruelty just as much a priority as human cruelty. Prosecuting animal abusers is important for the safety of the community.

  22. Walnut Hill on January 10th, 2013 9:19 am

    Nobody is saying starve the kids and feed the dogs. Good grief, get a grip. I have horses, goats and dogs. All my animals get fed or I’d call for help! I’m for chaining them out, starving them, leave them to the flies and fleas.

  23. F Archer on January 10th, 2013 8:28 am

    what about the victims in this case? their dog is dead, now these two people or going to trial one to be sentanced, the other one trial date change, and these poor victims still from day one have not been contacted by these two or the state. why does it have to be this way somebody needs to step up and talk to the victims offer them some kind of apology Jeanette and Melvin loved the hell out of little bengee i also think they need to be coeficiented in some degree.

  24. CitizenX on January 10th, 2013 8:25 am

    To all…if your animals come first in your life and get priority in food rations…then you my friends have some serious problems. If you can only afford to feed animals and not yourself then maybe you don’t need any animals. It’s amazing how people get more involved in animal cruelty than human cruelty. They sit back and watch crime against people and turn the other cheek but if a dog is a little skinny…look out.
    The bible actually says “Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away”. So I wouldn’t be putting animals as top priority…

  25. bill on January 10th, 2013 7:17 am

    I have a dog and two cats that my neighbors left to fend for themselves. They are a blessing to me. Paraphrasing what Chief Seattle said (there are several accounts of his speech, each different) White man doesn’t understand that what he does to his brothers he does to himself. Native Americans call animals our cousins but I think they are our brothers and sisters.

  26. Jane on January 10th, 2013 5:44 am

    My animals come first. I can not understand how someone could treat animals so badly. If she knew the animals were suffering she is just as guilty as he is.

  27. David Huie Green on January 10th, 2013 5:44 am

    a simple theology

  28. Jane on January 10th, 2013 5:39 am

    My animals come first, then me. I can not understand how some people could treat an animal this way. If Amanda knew the dogs were in this state she is just as guilty as the man who was convicted. Throw the book at them!

  29. tomtom44 on January 10th, 2013 3:05 am

    we two have a little dog and she will eat before we do.. if you can not feed them do not get them

  30. Animal Lover on January 10th, 2013 1:35 am

    My animals get fed whether I do or not. All 7 of them. We’re going to be judged on our treatment of God’s creatures …….. plus a lot of other things.

  31. OMG on January 10th, 2013 1:11 am

    Can we chain them up and give them old nasty water to drink? If we give people what they give animals maybe it would Stop!! If the judge doesn’t put them away something is seriously wrong!!