The court senteced Melissa Wolkes to 20 years in prison for murdering Donald Abner on January 10, 2020.
A 40-year-old woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for murdering a 55-year-old man in Kentucky. Melissa Wolke reportedly commanded her pit bull to charge at Donald Abner on January 10, 2020. Neighbors told authorities they saw Wolke on top of Abner punching him and ordering her canine to maul the victim. The accused was sentenced earlier this month after she agreed to plead guilty to the murder in October, reports PEOPLE.
"The way I look at it, she used her animal, a pit bull, as a weapon to help her in this altercation," Kentucky State Police Trooper Scottie Pennington reportedly said. On the day when the murder took place, police received a 911 call reporting about a woman "jumping up and down" over a man and assaulting him while her pit bull tore at him. Neighbors informed authorities that they also witnessed Wolke telling the dog, "Good boy, get him," WKYT reported. The local police stated that Wolke refused to call off her dog when officers ordered her to command the animal to stop its brutal attack on Abner, who succumbed to his injuries before any treatment could be administered.
A Kentucky State Police release at the time mentioned that a state trooper had to shoot the dog to render aid to Abner, who suffered bite wounds on his face, neck, and head. Wolke was arrested and charged with murder and other charges and taken to the Rockcastle County Jail while police investigated her motive behind the attack.
NBC15 reports that Wolke told police she has had a history of blacking out on alcohol and that Abner—with whom she had been friends for 20 years—was staying at her home for about three months before his death. Investigators also said the accused told them she didn't recall much from that fateful night and couldn't remember any fighting. She is said to have informed detectives of her bad history with drinking and how she gave it up for some time due to previous troubles with alcohol. Wolke also shared that her pitbull's name was Denali and that he was a former fighting dog. However, he had not been violent during the time she owned him, she claimed.
An autopsy report stated the initial cause of Abner's death as asphyxiation. The coroner reportedly stated that the victim had a broken bone in his neck but that the injury wasn't consistent with dog bites.
Cover Image Source: Kentucky State Police