Killing a neighbor's dog started a chain of events that led a Viola man being sentenced to eight years in prison.
John A. Cantrell, formerly of Tall Pines Road in Salem, was convicted on two felony counts and a misdemeanor Dec. 12. He had originally been charged with five felonies.
Police said Cantrell was arrested in March after luring his neighbor's dog into his yard at the home he owns with meat he had put on hooks.
After police arrested him on a traffic stop they procured a search warrant for his home where they found the dog hanging from a tree. They also found his girlfriend, Bonnie Hensley, in the living room.
Police recovered a loaded .22 caliber magnum derringer, more than one ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and large amounts of ammunition.
In the master bedroom of Cantrell's house, police found more marijuana, an "extremely" large amount of ammunition and several loaded firearms.
More marijuana and ammo was recovered from Cantrell's kitchen.
In a rear bedroom officers found an AR-15 .223 caliber tactical assault rifle with a high-powered scope, which was fully loaded with two 30-round magazines. The rifle was found on a wall facing the road which had three mattresses stacked in front of the window. According to police, this is a common tactic used by persons looking to barricade themselves from attack.
It has not been determined where Cantrell will carry out his sentence.