A pit bull shot twice in the neck that led Columbus police to discover what they termed an extensive marijuana growing operation on Maplebrook Drive will have to be euthanized.
Police officer Thomas Hill testified Thursday in Columbus Recorder’s Court about the gunshots that led a landscaping employee to call 911 around 4:20 p.m. Tuesday. That call led to the arrests of brothers Wesley E. Sealy, 32, and Frank Sealy, 42, who appeared before Judge Mary Buckner for their first appearance hearing.
Buckner found probable cause in the marijuana manufacturing case, giving Frank Sealy a $25,000 bond and his brother a $101,000 bond. Both men pleaded not guilty.
Officers reached Maplebrook Drive around 4:40 p.m. Officer Thomas Hill then spoke to the nearby landscaping employee who had called 911.
“After the first gunshot, he heard a loud screaming noise,” Hill testified. “Then he heard the second gunshot and heard silence.”
Hill said the landscaper couldn’t tell whether it was an animal or human who screamed.
While one officer checked nearby backyards, Hill approached Wesley Sealy as he stood in his driveway. Wesley Sealy told Hill that he didn’t know where the gunshots came from, and Hill then asked if he could check his backyard, he said.
Wesley Sealy led Hill through his house, where the officer noticed the heavy scent of marijuana, he testified.
Once in the backyard, the officer spotted a lot of blood.
“He said, I quote, ‘I shot my dog. He attacked me and I shot him,’” Hill said Wesley Sealy told him.
Wesley Sealy then told the officer that the gun he used was inside. Citing officer safety, Hill asked for its specific location. Wesley Sealy, Hill and another officer entered the home and Wesley Sealy motioned to his bedroom door, saying the gun was under his mattress.
At first claiming that no one else was inside the home, Wesley Sealy then called his brother’s name, Hill testified. Frank Sealy then opened his bedroom door, held up his hands and stepped into view.
Hill then got permission from Wesley Sealy to enter his room and get the gun. The officer found it under the mattress with a magazine, though without bullets. Three spent cartridges were nearby, the officer said.
Hill then turned to leave the room, he said.
“In plain view, I discovered there was a number, possibly six, of marijuana plants growing in the bedroom,” Hill testified.
The officer then arrested Wesley Sealy on a city ordinance violation of discharging a firearm. Hill then heard the dog’s whimpering from outside, and he then charged Wesley Sealy with animal cruelty.
After putting Wesley Sealy and the gun in his patrol car, Frank Sealy told officers that he’d been living in the house for two months.
“He said to me, ‘I don’t have anything to do with that stuff,’ ” Hill said. “ ‘It’s my brother’s.’ He said, and I quote, ‘You might want to check the other rooms.’ ”
In another bedroom Hill saw what appeared to be a grow room for marijuana and a number of suspected pot plants.
Columbus police’s Special Operations Unit was contacted, and Special Agent Dean Spata got a search warrant for the home. Spata testified that he found various smoking devices in Frank Sealy’s bedroom. In Wesley Sealy’s bedroom, he found eight marijuana seedlings and five plants. In an unoccupied bedroom, he found 15 plants and 55 seedlings, he said.
Spata estimated that all the suspected marijuana could sell for $157,500.
Hill said that the 1 1/2- to 2-year-old pit bull wasn’t aggressive toward him or animal control officers. However, he testified that a veterinarian’s letter states that the dog must be euthanized.
Hill added that no current vaccination information exists for the dog, and that protocol calls for it to be put down and tested for rabies because it bit someone. Also, the dog has two entry wounds and two exit wounds from being shot and no one has the money to pay the bills, he said.
Wesley Sealy, initially facing the city ordinance violation of discharging a firearm, had the charge changed in Recorder’s Court to reckless conduct. He’s also charged with animal cruelty and possession, distribution and manufacturing of marijuana. Frank Sealy only faces the drug charge.