Warren man who strangled, skinned dog issued early release from prison

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CANTON, Ohio -- A Warren man accused of beating, strangling and skinning a dog has been released early from prison.

Scott Winter, 46, in October pleaded guilty to prohibitions concerning companion animals, also known as Goddard's Law, which is named for longtime Fox 8 meteorologist Dick Goddard.

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Taryn Heath sentenced Winter to the maximum sentence of 12 months in prison. He was eligible to file for judicial release after 30 days as part of his plea deal. Judicial release was issued Thursday. Judge Heath told FOX 8 News that Winter is going to a community-based correction facility for drug treatment and health treatment for four to six months. He is also banned from having a companion animal and from living with anyone who has a companion animal.  If he violates this, he will go to prison and serve the remainder of his sentence.

Winter will remain on probation for five years.

Investigators said Winter skinned the dog while he was living in the Canton area.

“This is very unusual to see this type of thing happen,” Jason Reese, Canton City Prosecutor, previously said in court. “ We have an individual beating, killing, hanging, skinning and gutting a companion animal. There have been allegations that not only did he butcher the animal but he fed the animal to family members."

Police served the arrest warrant after Winter moved to a new home on Palmyra Road in Warren. While investigating, they discovered the burned remains of another dog in an outdoor fire pit.

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