- Florida, USA -
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested 31-years-old ANTHONY JABRAIL KNIGHT III (pictured) also known on Facebook as ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ.
According to the arrest report obtained by Voice For Us, on August 8, 2023, the Lee County Sheriff's Office received information about a possible animal abuse and/or neglect incident. The sheriff’s office received a video made by KNIGHT, which he had posted on Facebook.
In the video, KNIGHT appears to be in a residential garage and the caption “$10,000 down the drain” appears over the video. KNIGHT can be seen showing what appeared to be a dead dog in a crate inside a garage. KNIGHT then says: “I know it's too hot outside” and that the dog has been living in the garage for one to two years. The video goes on to show KNIGHT touching the dog who “appears stiff and lifeless”, stated the report.
As if showing a dead dog was not cruel and sickening enough, KNIGHT made further posts on his social media accounts saying: “Came home to two dead dogs this year, and it was actually my fault this time.”
The sheriff's office's Animal Cruelty Task Force was notified and the following day, August 9, 2023, they responded to KNIGHT’s residence on 949 Meadow Road in Lehigh Acres.
Detective Conlin made contact with KNIGHT and asked him if he had any dogs. KNIGHT answered his dog had passed away the day before and pointed across the street to a vacant lot on 950 Meadow Road where he buried the dog.
In the media release, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office refers to the Voiceless Victim as
Detective Conlin mentioned to KNIGHT the video he posted the day before and KNIGHT invited deputies inside his home. He then took them to the garage and showed them where Kalea was kept, along with the dog crate that was seen in the video. KNIGHT said he keeps a portable A/C unit in the garage, but when he turned it on, deputies could see that it was not hooked up to a window or door.
According to the reports, KNIGHT spontaneously uttered: “I know it was the heat, she died with her head in the empty water bowl.”
On the vacant lot where KNIGHT buried Kalea, deputies saw a small area with freshly disturbed earth and a small mound of dirt.
Detective Conlin requested one search warrant for KNIGHT’s property and another for the lot where Kalea had been buried.
The warrants were executed the same day, August 9, 2023, at approximately 12:25 p.m.
Detectives exhumed Kalea’s remains and sent them off for a necropsy. The Voiceless Victim is described in the report as a 2-year-old American Bully.
In the garage of KNIGHT’s residence, detectives found two empty food/water bowls as well as the crate in which Kalea was confined. In the kitchen pantry, detectives found a half-full dog food storage bin. Detectives reported that the A/C inside the residence was around 78 degrees and there was a noticeable difference in the heat when entering the garage.
KNIGHT was placed under arrest and when he was interviewed, he said he went back home from work yesterday to find the dog dead.
According to the report, KNIGHT “acknowledged the canine probably died from the heat and explained he was aware those breeds of dogs are sensitive to heat.”
He admitted to not leaving water for Kalea and to not leaving on the portable unit in the garage. The report further stated that although KNIGHT “believed the dog died from heat, he believes it wasn't that hot in the garage” and added that Kalea “was healthy and had no medical issue.”
KNIGHT is charged with one felony count of cruelty to animals and two counts of probation violation as he was on probation at the time of the incident.
At the time of writing, records show that KNIGHT is being held in the Lee County Jail on a $10,000 bond.
In a statement, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said: “See it, say it, make the call, it works. The hero that reported this ensured that this dredge of society will face justice.”
In the media release, in regard to Kalea being found dead with her face in an empty bowl, Sheriff Marceno said: “With Knight’s previous drug arrests, you think he would know bowls are supposed to be full.”
Sheriff Marceno went on to say that after KNIGHT was arrested, he “got a ride in the fully air-conditioned Marceno Motel Courtesy Van, a courtesy he didn’t extend to Kalea.”
Arrest records show that KNIGHT has thirteen (13) previous arrests in Lee County going back to 2009 when he was 18-years-old. Prior convictions include possession of marijuana as well as possession of cocaine, fleeing to elude, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. “Enjoy YOUR cage”, said Sheriff Marceno to KNIGHT.
According to court records, KNIGHT’s Case Management Conference is scheduled for November 7, 2023, at 8:30 a.m. before Judge Bruce E. Kyle.
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KNIGHT’s mugshot shared from the Lee County Jail.