Grace UMC Pastor Praying for Suspect Who Police Say Burned Puppy

Bond Set at $10k for Man Accused of Burning, Killing Puppy

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – Hykeem Golson, 21, stood before a judge Tuesday afternoon, he’s accused of setting his girlfriend’s puppy on fire Saturday in the parking lot of Grace United Methodist Church.

The judge set Golson’s bond at $10,000 surety.

Assistant solicitor Sandra Moser said Golson has a lengthy criminal history to include grand larceny, financial fraud and drug charges.

If convicted, Golston could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Moser said the animal had to be euthanized as a result of its injuries.

Golson was ordered not to have contact with the victim or return to the scene of the incident.

Moser said the incident appears to be a “vengeful act on the part of the defendant.”

Reverend Murray Snow is the pastor at Grace United Methodist Church, the site where police say Golson set a puppy on fire leading to the canine’s death.

Snow, a dog lover himself, says despite what happened, he does not hold a grudge against Golson.

The congregation at Grace United Methodist church said they were appalled after hearing about what happened to the puppy. Snow says he wants to turn this tragedy into an opportunity to help other animals. “We will have a blessing of the animals Saturday night in response to this violent act that occurred and to bring hope and healing to this congregation and the community and even to the individual who carried out this act,” said Snow.

The Blessing of the Animals and Prayer Service will take place at 4 p.m., Saturday, November 19 at United Grace Methodist Church on Harbison Boulevard. The event is open to the public. Those interested in attending may bring their pet or a picture of their pet to the ceremony.

ABC Columbia’s Kimberlei Davis contributed to the update of this story.

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