Newport man arrested and charged with killing dog and burglarizing home

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NEWPORT, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Finally, justice for Simon, a dog beaten to death during a home break-in. Newport police say they have the man who did it 22 year-old Chris Haney. The family is looking forward to seeing him in court.

The LaForce family's sense of security shattered on November 28th when someone ransacked their home. Tonia LaForce says, "I walked into my room and it was complete chaos."

That wasn't the worst part. That came when Tonia found her 8 year-old daughter's dog dead on the floor. Tonia says, "He was laying in the corner next to the refridgerator in a pool of blood."

Newport Chief of Police Maurice Shults says, "You can't believe someone would come in and stomp a dog to death"

Police started their investigation while the LaForces faced Christmas morning without Simon. Tonia says, "Christmas was rough. She told me on Christmas Simon would have loved Christmas."

Tonia wanted to do more to help find the killer so she started a Facebook page, Justice for Simon. Chief Shults says, "The community was very, very involved in this investigation."

It helped bring an arrest. Chris Haney now charged with burglary and animal abuse. Tonia says, "This guy's a murderer. I hope this guy does his time. I hope he gets the maximum penalty for what he's done to this dog."

Since the incident, the family has moved on with their lives getting a security system and a new family pet. Now Carly adopted Loius, a Jack Russell mix that was neglected. Tonia says, "It's a week today since we've had him and it's helped Carly loads to have a little fellow back in the house."

As for Haney, he's free on $25,000 bond. He's due in court March 3rd.
He's also been charged with theft in another home burglary.