Suspect faces felony charges after allegedly setting beloved dog, 'Tommie,' on fire

By Samantha Smith - Digital Content Producer

RICHMOND, Va. - People across the commonwealth of Virginia mourned a male pitbull named Tommie when he died after being tied to a pole and set on fire in Richmond. Now, police have arrested a suspect in the case. 

Jyahshua A. Hill, 20, was arrested shortly after 3 p.m. Monday by the U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force, according to NBC 12. He has been charged with one count of felony animal cruelty. 

Hill was indicted by a grand jury on May 8, according to the NBC affiliate. 

Tommie, a male pit bull, was burned over more than 40 percent of his body after being tied to a pole and covered in a flammable liquid. The dog was treated for his injuries but died five days later. 

Tommie's story pulled at heartstrings across the commonwealth and sparked a statewide conversation on animal cruelty. 

“There are a lot of people to thank, but I’d like to single out all the citizens who contributed tips that pointed us in the right direction,” Interim Police Chief William C. Smith told NBC12. “That, plus the excellent job done by arson investigators who did the bulk of the work, major crimes detectives, forensics technicians and animal control officers who all built a strong case to present to the grand jury.”

NBC12 reports that the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office has assigned two attorneys to the case -- one with expertise in arson and the other in animal cruelty prosecutions. 

Anyone with information related to the case is asked to call RFD Fire Investigator Lt. B. Dalrymple at 804 646-5421 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

A booking photo is not yet available.

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