Thursday, June 3, 2010

No jail time for man who nearly killed a puppy

Today's trial for Frank Nibbs, age 50, who was charged with felony animal cruelty, was resolved during a plea to the bench before Judge Bob LeBlanc this morning.

Nibbs allegedly entered the property of Sylvia Brantley last October and used a six-foot construction level to beat her four-pound Pekingnese puppy in front of her and her 13-year-old son. The dog, Max, was beaten unconscious, sustained a broken jaw, lost several teeth and an eye.

A plea conference on May 14th was held and the State's offer was for Nibbs to be adjudicated guilty, serve 6 months jail plus 3 years probation, pay restitution, and to complete an anger management class.

Nibbs faced a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison for this offense.

The evidence in the case included first-hand witness accounts, officer depositions, victim testimony and veterinary assessments of the dog's injuries, from which he is still recuperating.

The judge undercut Assistant State Attorney Elizabeth Baird's offer, which included 6 months jail, by ordering only a 3-year probationary sentence, despite emotional testimony from the victim about the impact on her child and her pet. At least Nibbs, who had no criminal record here in the US, was adjudicated guilty of felony cruelty, so he is now a convicted felon. It is unknown how long ago he moved to the US from the Virgin Islands (I couldn't hear whether he came from the US or British Virgin Islands - if from the US, the criminal records search should include any history).
After hearing Ms. Brantley's emotional testimony, and in spite of his apparent disgust with Nibbs' crime, Judge LeBlanc still refused to order the defendant to serve any time in jail, citing his lack of criminal history.
The family was in such fear following the traumatic incident that they moved from the home they've occupied for 13 years. Ms. Brantly testified that her son continues to have nightmares about the incident. She also believes that if she had not intervened, the dog would have been killed.
In addition to probation, Nibbs was ordered to complete an anger management class, an animal care class, pay restitution and a $2500 fine, have no contact with the victim or her family, and own no pets while on probation.
It is disappointing, however, that Nibbs will not see any jail time for assaulting a helpless pet in front of a child. But then again, it's disappointing that our court system fails to put people in jail for assaulting their children or their spouse/partner in front of children too.
WFTV Coverage


  1. Are you kidding me? What kind of Judge is he? He must not have any compassion for poor helpless animals..this ASS needs to be in prison..if you can do that to a little puppy, surely you would have no reason to think twice about beating a human being. Oh well, maybe PETA will get involved, I would love to picket this judge! JERK OFF!!!

  2. One may wonder why the state attorney's office only charged animal cruelty in this case. According to section 827.03, Florida Statutes, "'Child abuse' means:(a) Intentional infliction of physical or mental injury upon a child;[or]
    (b) An intentional act that could reasonably be expected to result in physical or mental injury to a child." WFTV reports the mother said of her 13-year-old, "He was in a state of shock. He couldn't move.” One might ask why the State didn't also charge Nibbs with felony child abuse, increasing the points on the sentencing "scoresheet." One might also wonder why a civil suit would be necessary to get Nibbs to pay for the dog's care; where the victim has suffered some financial loss, restitution is ordinarily part of a sentence.
    Phil Townes

  3. At the very least this guy needed jail time, and Judge Bob LeBlanc is responsible for putting him back on the streets with a slap on the hand. He now knows he can be violent with defenseless animals and get away with it. Judge LeBlanc needs to be held responsible for all of his next crimes against society. Shame on him and Shame on the Judge.