Dog Ransom

This undated photo provided by McKenzie Thomas shows an English bulldog named Jagger in the backseat of a car. 

Courtesy of McKenzie Thomas

The man who stole a Woodland woman's bulldog and held it for ransom in a case that gained worldwide attention was sentenced Friday to nearly 3 1/2 years in prison.

Cowlitz Superior Court Judge Michael Evans sentenced Johnny Lee Jordan, 39, of Longview to 41 months in prison for second-degree theft and second-degree extortion, plus restitution to be determined.

Jordan pleaded guilty last month to participating in the theft of Jagger the bulldog from his yard and working with others to extort money from the dog's owner, Jennifer Thomas of Woodland.

Thomas, who was in court with her husband and daughter at Jordan's sentencing, said when Jordan gave his final statement, he tried to blame others for the crime.

"He supposedly was apologizing but he didn't look at us," she said. "He tried to blame it on somebody else. He said, 'I'll admit to my part of it but there was another person.' "

Jagger, a 2-year-old English bulldog, was stolen Oct. 4 from his owner's yard. Thomas told investigators she began receiving text messages Oct. 8 demanding she hand over prescription drugs and cash if she wanted her dog back. Jagger was found dead Oct. 24 on the railroad tracks near Talley Way in Kelso.

Investigators concluded Jagger was dead before he was placed along the tracks, and Thomas said her privately hired vet concluded he had been tortured. Humane Society investigators found no obvious torture injuries, and the cause of his death was not determined.

Jordan's girlfriend, Ivy Rose Svaleson, 24, Longview, and a friend, Jesse James Clark, 38, Kelso, also have both been charged with extortion. Svaleson, whose trial is April 16, is also charged with theft. Clark, whose trial is April 23, is also charged with possession of stolen property.

Thomas said Jordan showed no emotion at his sentencing.

"Nothing I say will register with him," she said. "I don't think he has the capability to heal."

Prosecutor Sue Baur said she was pleased with the sentence, which is at the high end of the sentencing range.

"We are taking this very seriously," she said. "The outcome, 41 months, is a long time. We're not taking this lightly because it's a dog. ... It's a shameful act."

She said she has received "hundreds of emails ... from other countries and all over the U.S., about Jagger. ... These are kindhearted, animal-loving people, and they are concerned about what they've read."

Baur said many of the writers feel that Jordan and the others should have been charged with Jagger's death.

Thomas, who shares that viewpoint, said more than 2,500 people have signed a petition on, and she has a Facebook page called "JusticeforJag."

"If we had the evidence to show every single little thing, we would charge it," Baur said. "We charge based on the evidence we know is admissible."


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