ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — A 44-year-old man recently pleaded guilty to killing two men and their two dogs in Etowah County five years ago.

On Feb. 10, Joseph Brown pleaded guilty to capital murder, aggravated cruelty to animals and first-degree burglary. He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

According to the Etowah County District Attorney’s Office, Attalla Police started an investigation after the bodies of Joey Walker, 59, and Johnny Whisenant, 49, were discovered at Brown’s apartment on January 24, 2018. Both men were beaten and suffered from multiple stab wounds. Walker’s two dogs were also killed.

Police discovered a link between the murders when Brown’s girlfriend came to police on January 24, 2018 and reported she had allegedly been assaulted by Brown because he believed that she had been unfaithful to him. She claimed she falsely told Brown she was raped by Whisenhant while staying at Walker’s apartment because she believed Brown was going to kill her. She said Brown took her back to Walker’s apartment on Jan. 21, intending to confront them about the rape allegation. She then ran into a neighbor’s apartment in an attempt to get away from Brown.

After she fled the scene, Brown allegedly continued to use other controlled substances, before going back to Walker’s apartment on January 23, 2018 armed with a bowie knife and a tire thumper.

Brown was arrested and charged with public intoxication on January 24, 2018 after showing up to the Rapha House drug treatment facility nearly naked and under the influence of drugs. While in jail on the public intoxication charge, officers found his car just behind the apartment where the murders took place. His clothes and identification were found on the other side of a creek bank, near the Rapha House.

Brown admitted to killing both Walker and Whisenant, adding he also killed their dogs out of fear that they would bark and draw attention to the apartment. Brown allegedly told law enforcement that he attempted to clean up the blood at the scene of the crime. He moved the victims bodies and bodies of the dogs, into the bedroom of the apartment and covered them with clothing and various household items.