Lawyer: Suspect in Animal Cruelty May Have Mental Issues

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A lawyer for a 24-year-old man accused of dismembering six dogs at two Reno motels says the former Reno High School student has "mental health issues" and may need a psychiatric evaluation before he goes to trial.

Jason Brown has been charged with six felony counts of torturing or maiming and killing an animal, and two counts of possession of controlled substance, methamphetamine. He's scheduled to appear in court at a mandatory status conference Aug. 13 at 1:30 p.m.

His lawyer, John Oakes, told the Reno Gazette-Journal he's investigating whether Brown has a drug problem. He says Brown was a "pretty good kid" at Reno High with no prior criminal record.

Oakes said he hasn't determined a possible motive. He declined to elaborate on potential mental health issues.