Judge rules Josiah Wheat incompetent to stand trial in puppy-beating
Josiah Wheat of Vanzant is now in the custody of the Missouri Department of Mental Health after he was found mentally incompetent to stand trial in connection with a 2017 case in which he is accused of beating several puppies to death with a baseball bat and posting a video of the incident to social media.
According to the Ozark Radio Network, Wheat was released to the custody of the Missouri Department of Mental Health following a court hearing April 3 before Circuit Judge Craig Carter in Douglas County. The determination was made after Carter received the results of a mental examination of Wheat that he ordered during a hearing Nov. 7, 2017.
Wheat was originally charged with five counts of animal abuse by torturing and/or mutilating an animal while it is alive in connection with the incident in September 2017 after the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received numerous calls from Facebook viewers all over the U.S. and Canada referring to a Facebook video reportedly posted by Wheat showing him beating a group of five puppies to death with a baseball bat.
According to the Springfield News-Leader, the video was approximately one minute long.