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Killer of Ollie the pit bull to get 10 years for stabbing dog, trapping him in suitcase

Ollie was treated by vets after being stabbed several times and left inside a suitcase on Oct. 10, 2017. He died two days later. (Mike Stocker/Sun Sentinel/TNS)

Brendan Evans, the man accused of stabbing a pit bull named Ollie more than 50 times and leaving him trapped inside a suitcase in Hollywood, is now admitting to the crime four years after declaring his innocence.

Evans, 35, will serve 10 years in state prison on two counts of animal cruelty, his defense attorney Michael Gottlieb said Tuesday.

The crime captured headlines the world over, sparking fury from animal lovers from New York to London and beyond.

Evans’ first attorney argued the intense public outcry would make it difficult for Evans to get a fair trial and suggested waiting until the furor died down.

People from all over the nation promised to flood the courtroom, sending letters to the judge demanding justice for Ollie.

The mutilated Ollie was discovered on Oct. 10, 2017, when a couple out for a late-night walk heard frantic cries coming from a blue suitcase not far from Evans’ apartment.

They called police, who rushed the dog to a nearby animal clinic. Vets thought he would recover, but he died two days later.

At first, hundreds of outraged dog lovers offered to adopt Ollie.

When he died from his wounds, they donated nearly $60,000 in reward money to help find his killer.

Evans was charged with the crime after Hollywood police linked his DNA to the suitcase.

Police who searched his apartment found cat paws and rats with severed heads in his freezer. Blood stains covered a shower curtain and toilet in the bathroom. The oven was covered with dried blood and animal fur. Officers also found an 18-inch machete under the TV stand, another knife covered with blood and fur on a dresser and a third knife with a broken handle and blade in a dog bowl.

They also found a handwritten note saying: “Make the entire pit bull investigation go away. Return all curses placed on Brendan to their sender. Give Brendan peace of mind.”

Vets who treated Ollie said he remained sweet and loving despite all his wounds.

Haunted by the story, animal activist Mindy Moffatt set up a “Justice for Ollie” page on Facebook soon after Ollie died.

“When I created that page everyone around the world felt such a love for this dog, even though they never met him or touched him,” she said. “Ollie endured immense pain and he stayed alive for a reason. He’s the reason why all these other animals are not going to have to endure a painful death. That’s why this dog means the world to me. Because of his will to live he saved other animals.”

Evans has another hearing set for Friday related to a violation of probation from a robbery case in Hernando County, Gottlieb said. He faces up to 15 years in that case.

Gottlieb said Evans is on medication and in need of care from mental health experts — care he has not been getting while sitting in jail for the past four years.

“I am hopeful the prison will get him some kind of help when he gets there,” Gottlieb said. “This is the biggest issue with sentencing someone like him to prison. At some point he’s going to get out. He comes from a really good family. So I am sure they are going to get him help.”

The Broward State Attorney’s Office initially charged Evans with 17 counts of animal cruelty but dismissed 15 counts in exchange for the guilty plea, Gottlieb said.

Had Evans been convicted of all 17 counts, he could have been sentenced to 85 years in prison.

“He’s been in jail since Nov. 15, 2017,” Gottlieb said. “He’s coming up on four years. My client wanted closure.”

Moffatt says the guilty plea goes a long way toward helping bring an end to a case so many just can’t forget.

“Since he’s now pleading guilty, we feel like we are finally getting justice for Ollie,” she said.

Susannah Bryan can be reached at sbryan@sunsentinel.com or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan

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