Fort Myers man, 23, sentenced in animal cruelty case, Sheriff Carmine Marceno announces

A Fort Myers man who pleaded guilty in the March 29 beating of a dog at a Fort Myers gas station will serve three years in prison.

On Tuesday, Marcus Lynn Chiddister, 23, learned he'll serve the sentence, followed by two years of probation, court records indicate.

A judge in May transferred ownership of Sheeba, an abused dog, to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno after a civil hearing marked by several outbursts by Chiddister.

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A tipster identified Chiddister after a video taken on March 29 appeared to show an unidentified male punching and, or, beating a dog in the backseat of Chrysler 200 at a RaceTrac gas station on South Cleveland Avenue, in Fort Myers.

Investigators from the Sheriff's Office Animal Cruelty Task Force were at the station on April 6 the male suspect returned in a gold-colored Chrysler along with a female. The woman confirmed that she owned Sheeba.

When detectives showed the woman the video, she identified the car and dog as hers.

The woman told investigators Chiddister had been upset at Sheeba because the dog ate their food.

Chiddister told detectives he owned the dog, which was a rescue animal, for about six months and did "whoop" her as punishment.

A veterinarian exam of the animal found multiple injuries, including broken teeth, hemorrhaging and swelling of the eyes, and bruises around the neck caused by blunt-force trauma, not accidental in nature, but consistent with unnecessary suffering and animal cruelty, the report indicated.

Days after similar sentencing

A similar, high-profile animal cruelty case recently closed.

On Jan. 19, Emerito Marquez, 25, was sentenced to three months in prison, followed by five years of probation.

On June 13, deputies responded to the RaceTrac at the 16900 block of North Cleveland Avenue in reference to a dog limping in the busy roadway.

Marquez was arrested the following day on animal cruelty charges.

Paco completed the sheriff's office's Cell Dog program in which inmates and deputies rehabilitate dogs who have been abused or mistreated.

Tomas Rodriguez is a Breaking/Live News Reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. You can reach Tomas at or 772-333-5501. Connect with him on Twitter @TomasFRoBeltran, Instagram @tomasfrobeltran and Facebook @tomasrodrigueznews.

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Fort Myers man to sere three years in dog-punching at gas station