Tacoma man charged in stabbing death of his mother’s pit bull

A dog that had been stabbed to death was found buried in a Tacoma yard.

The pit bull had an electrical cord around its neck, and still was wearing a muzzle, collar and leash.

After the dog was found, Darius Brooks told animal control officers it tried to bite him so he protected himself and killed the pit bull, which was named Minnie.

Pierce County prosecutors didn’t believe Brooks’ story and charged the 20-year-old with first-degree animal cruelty.

He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held in lieu of $20,000 bail. He also was ordered to have no contact with his mother and to surrender his pets and weapons.

Minnie belonged to Brooks’ mother, who called 911 on May 19 and asked to have the dog removed from her house because it had bit both of her arms.

Two days later, she changed her mind and brought Minnie home from the Tacoma-Pierce County Humane Society.

Brooks was upset and took the dog without his mother’s permission, telling her Minnie needed to be taken back to the shelter and euthanized.

His mother was “distraught” and begged him to bring Minnie home, according to charging papers.

She went to Brooks’ house the next day and demanded to see the dog. Brooke allegedly admitted to stabbing Minnie to death because “the dog deserved it.”

An animal control officer spoke with Brooks about the dog after his mother reported the incident. He said Minnie tried to bite him as he put a leash on her as they readied to leave his house for the shelter.

“The defendant stated he had a knife by the couch and he stabbed Minnie because he felt she was tearing the muzzle up and almost had it off,” records show.

“Minnie was still alive and suffering so he stabbed her until she was dead.”

The animal control officer pointed out that the dog was wearing a muzzle so she couldn’t bite Brooks, who had no sign of injuries.

A search warrant led to Minnie’s body being found buried in the backyard with the spot marked by a picnic table.

An 8-inch hunting knife and blood-covered ball peen hammer were found in the grave. Minnie was still wearing a muzzle, collar and leash.

A necropsy will be performed.

Animal control officers also spoke with Brooks about his two great Danes, which were tied up in his yard. Records show the dogs were tangled in their tie-ups, had no food or shelter and their water bowl had been knocked over.

Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653