Longview Man Sentenced For Attacking Ex-Girlfriend's Dog

Tuesday, a Longview man became the first person in Gregg County convicted with the felony cruelty to animals charge.

24-year old Lee Michael Rhea was originally charged with a misdemeanor crime for torturing his ex-girlfriend's dog.  But then because of a new law that charge was upgraded to a felony.

24-year old Lee Michael Rhea is sentenced on a state jail felony. He'll serve one year in prison.

For Rhea's ex-girlfriend, Brandy White, she says the violence she had seen so often from Rhea is finally out of her life, "This is justice for me, I'm content now."

Back in March, Rhea was arrested after he threw Brandy's Boston Terrier, Pretty Boy, against a wall several times.

Tuesday on the stand, Brandy tearfully described the torture, "Lee ran in there and hit him and I chased after him. He picked him up again threw him up against the wall again."

Pretty Boy suffered a blood clot to his brain, a previously broken leg was re-injured during the attack.

On the stand Rhea admitted to abusing the dog.

Lee was originally charged with a misdemeanor but a Longview attorney had recently helped pass new legislation changing the charge to a felony.

She contacted authorities and Lee's future changed as well.

"I'm so very proud of Judge Brabham and Alfonso Charles for the work they've done today. I think it's a great accomplishment in the state of Texas and it speaks so well of the citizens in this state," says attorney Kelly Heitkamp.

Pretty Boy is still recovering from his injuries.

As for Brandy, she says she's anxious to get on with her life.