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Man accused of child and animal abuse granted temporary custody of teen

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According to reports, a prominent Destin business owner has been granted temporary custody of his 15-year-old daughter despite being charged with child cruelty and animal abuse charges almost a year ago. Authorities identified the father as Damon Becnel. The teen was placed in the custody of her paternal grandfather around 10 months after she posted video on Youtube showing Becnel headbutting her and then threatening her dogs with a knife. During the investigation, the teen told police that she recorded the incident because she wanted to show Becnel has been fighting to regain custody of the teen.

He has since regained custody of the teen under the recommendation of the Florida Department of Children and Families and the teen’s lawyer, who reported that the teen requested to be reunited with her father. Becnel will retain temporary custody of the 15-year-old until another hearing can be held at a later date. According to the child’s mother who does not have custody, she believes her daughter is being manipulated. While Becnel is facing charges of child cruelty and animal abuse, he has yet to stand trial. According to reports, trial has been rescheduled several times and is currently slated for December 14th.