Kentucky man claims he killed, skinned dogs to make coat

A neighbor said the suspect has had mental health issues in the past.

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By The Associated Press

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. — A Kentucky man who claimed to have skinned four of his neighbors' dogs to make a “doggy coat” has been charged with animal torture.

Jonathan D. Watkins, 38, was arrested in the Floyd County community of David on Dec. 23 after a neighbor called authorities, news outlets reported.

The neighbor told police that Watkins came to his home to ask for a cigarette and was covered in blood. The neighbor said when asked, Watkins said he had been skinning dogs, according to an arrest citation.

Jonathon D. Watkins.Floyd County Sheriff's Office

The neighbor didn't believe him initially because he knew Watkins had had mental health issues in the past, but later saw what looked like animal skins and dog carcasses on Watkins ' front porch, the citation said. The neighbor told police that he was missing two dogs and thought another neighbor was missing two dogs as well.

A state trooper who responded found Watkins at his home with a knife and what appeared to be blood on his clothing.

When the trooper asked where the blood came from, Watkins replied, "I'm making myself a doggy coat," according to the arrest citation. Watkins told the trooper that he stabbed the dogs and then skinned them.

During a Dec. 27 hearing, Floyd District Court Judge Jimmy R. Marcum appointed a public defender for Watkins and ordered him held without bond. He also ordered him to undergo a psychiatric examination, court records showed.