Wife of Franklin County man accused of killing dogs ‘relieved’ her husband was denied bond

The defendant’s wife told the judge, “I’m afraid if you let him out, I’m next”

ROCKY MOUNT, Va. – The Franklin County man who police say killed his own dogs will remain in jail awaiting his next hearing.

A Franklin County General District judge denied Terry Michel bond on Wednesday.

Court records show Michel confessed to shooting and killing his and his wife’s dogs, Caleb and Colby, and dumping their remains on the side of the road.

Colby and Caleb. (Credit: Franklin County Humane Society Planned Pethood & Adoption Center) (WSLS)

During Wednesday’s bond hearing, the Commonwealth shared Mr. Michel admitted to investigators he killed the two dogs to “save his marriage.”

Mr. Michel’s wife, Rhonda Michel told the judge, “I’m afraid if you let him out, I’m next.”

[READ MORE: Bond denied for dog owner who confessed to killing his dogs in Franklin County]

“Ms. Michel is relieved. She is in fear of Mr. Michel and she is relieved to hear that he is not going to be released today and she is hoping to get some resolution to all of this,” said Ms. Michel’s attorney, Sherry Scott, who is representing her in a protective order hearing and a pending divorce.

The defense argued Mr. Michel is a veteran, with no criminal record, who could live with his brother-in-law and sister in their home in Franklin County if released on bail.

The judge sided with Ms. Michel and the Commonwealth saying Mr. Michel is “unpredictable” because of these alleged actions he is facing charges for.

Scott said not only is the killing of the family’s dogs an act of violence against Ms. Michel, but the fact Mr. Michel lied about the events leading up to the dogs’ death is also concerning.

“We consider this an act of domestic violence. She very much loved her dogs, Colby and Caleb and without giving too much information, the fact that he took it upon himself to kill her two most prized possessions I think leads to the fact that he is capable of anything and she certainly is afraid of that,” said Scott.

Mr. Michel’s next court appearance is a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 4.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.