SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that they now have their first courthouse facility puppy — and it’s the first in the state to be fully-funded by local businesses.
The DA’s office partnered with business leaders throughout the county to purchase the new puppy, Teghan, from Knight GoldenDoodles in Clayton, according to a press release from Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle.
Local businesses have also contributed money to cover the cost of the training provided by Kronos K-9. Contributors include Deacon Jones, First Citizens Bank, Matthews Motors, Neuse Termite and Pest Control, Bullock Brothers, DeWayne’s, Haines Vision Care, Sound Station & Security, and Chick-Fil-A.
Dr. Mike Bagley, owner of Clayton Animal Hospital, has agreed to provide all of the veterinary care and grooming services for Teghan. Assistant District Attorney Jordan Ford will be Teghan’s primary caretaker, Doyle said.
“We are overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of community support we have received in our efforts to make Teghan a part of our office family. We will be forever grateful to the local businesses that have allowed us to turn this dream into a reality for the citizens of Johnston County,” Doyle said. “Teghan will be trained to provide assistance to victims and witnesses as they navigate every phase of the criminal justice system in Johnston County. Children, in particular, will benefit from Teghan’s ability to provide emotional support as they confront the tragic details of abuse they have suffered in the past. We hope Teghan can help our office promote justice through compassion by providing comfort and lots of love to those in need.”
The new puppy is named Teghan in memory of Teghan Skiba, the 4-year-old Johnston County girl who was tortured and murdered by Jonathan Richardson in 2010.
Richardson was charged with first-degree murder in Skiba’s death.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said at the time that Richardson, who was the little girl’s mother’s boyfriend, brought the 4-year-old to the hospital claiming she had fallen out of bed.
Doctors quickly realized that the girl had bite marks, cuts, severe head trauma and also appeared to have been tortured and sexually assaulted.
Warrants showed that Richardson told police Skiba wet the bed and he “lost it” and whipped her with an extension cord.
Richardson was convicted and sentenced to death. He is currently on death row in Central Prison in Raleigh.
“After much discussion in our office and with the blessing of Teghan Skiba’s grandparents, we could think of no better way to honor her memory than by naming our newest addition ‘Teghan,'” Doyle said.