An evaluation of competency and mental capacity has been ordered in the case in which police say a 19-year-old man fatally stabbed a 10-year-old dog and then started a fire in the living room of an apartment on Villanova Road in Oak Ridge.
The evaluation at Ridgeview Psychiatric Hospital was ordered Tuesday by Judge Roger Miller of Anderson County General Sessions Court, Division II, in Oak Ridge.
The evaluation should include a determination of the mental capacity of the defendant, Skyler C. Griffin, at the time of the alleged crime, his competency to stand trial, and his ability to assess the nature of his conduct, according to the order.
Griffin had a court hearing on Tuesday afternoon in Anderson County General Sessions Court in Oak Ridge. He now has a status hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. November 7.
Griffin has been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, aggravated arson, and vandalism.
Court affidavits filed September 15 by Oak Ridge Police Department Officer Kenny Prickett said Griffin admitted to hitting the male Beagle mix with his hands and closed fists before pulling out his pocket knife and stabbing the dog in the neck and lower abdomen.
The dog ran from the living room and onto an outside balcony, where it “succumbed to the stab wounds,” Prickett said.
While the dog was on the balcony, Griffin walked into the apartment bathroom and gathered all the bath towels, Prickett said in the affidavits. Griffin also grabbed a bottle of rubbing alcohol and returned to the living room, according to the affidavits.
“Griffin walked to the balcony and brought the dog back into the living room and then lay him back on the carpet,” Prickett said. “Griffin then placed the towels on the carpet in the living room and poured the alcohol on the towels and carpet and lit it with a lighter from his pocket.”
Once the fire was lit, Prickett said, Griffin left the apartment and walked back to his home on West Vanderbilt Drive.
The carpet in the living room was burned, and blood stains were visible from the living room to the balcony, Prickett said in the affidavits.
The victim in the case, who lives at the apartment where the dog was allegedly stabbed and the fire started, has been identified as Griffin’s father.
Griffin was booked into the Anderson County Detention Facility at 7:31 a.m. Friday, September 15. His bond has been set at $86,000, and he has remained jailed since he was arrested, according to jail records.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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