'Good boy, get him': Woman who ordered her pet pit bull to maul friend to death gets 20 years in prison
Melissa Wolke, 40, pleaded guilty to the murder of 55-year-old Donald Abner, a car repairman, with whom she lived in Conway, Kentucky
CONWAY, KENTUCKY: A woman, who ordered her pet pit bull to maul a man in an attack that killed him, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder. The 40-year-old Melissa Wolke pleaded guilty to the murder of 55-year-old Donald Abner, a car repairman, with whom she lived in Conway, Kentucky.
At the time, authorities had responded to the gruesome killing at around 3 am on January 10, 2020, following up on reports of an altercation. State troopers found Wolke on top of Abner upon arrival. They saw her beating him as her pit bull bit his head and face. A neighbor later told the authorities that they heard her encourage the canine to attack by saying, "Good boy, get him."
Officers on the scene said they were forced to shoot the dog dead upon arrival at the residence on Pug Lane in Rockcastle County, off US Highway 25. Wolke later broke down in an interview with police and repeatedly said, "Oh my God, I went redneck on him." An autopsy found that Abner died at the scene from asphyxiation. Coroners also found a broken bone in his neck and bite marks on his face and head. Testifying in court, Kentucky State Police Detective Ryan Loudermilk said that a neighbor of Wolke recalled hearing sounds from a party a couple of hours before the attack. He also claimed to have heard gunshots in the weeks prior to the incident but didn't know what was being shot.
The neighbor said he recorded the attack on his phone but deleted the video because it made him 'sick to watch' — officers were unable to recover the footage. "She appeared to have blood on her hands and feet and had a large clump of hair in her hands that was consistent with the victim's hair," a police report stated at the time. State trooper Scottie Pennington told WKYT that the dog had bitten the victim several times in the face and head, and that they had no option but to shoot the canine since Wolke wouldn't tell it to back down. "The way I look at it, she used her animal, a pit bull, as a weapon to help her in this altercation," Pennington told the station.
The court heard that the accused had a history of alcohol abuse and had tried to give up drinking for some time. Citing police, NBC15 reported that the suspect also had a history of blacking out on alcohol. She had been friends with Abner for 20 years, and he was staying at her home for about three months prior to his death. The outlet also reported that Wolke told police that her pooch was a former fighting dog but hadn't exhibited violent tendencies during the time she owned him. Investigators reportedly found no signs of a struggle as they searched the house, but only found an empty liquor bottle.