posted on Oct, 8 2004 @ 10:53 PM
"A MAN who beheaded a German shepherd he had named after his girlfriend was sentenced today to 25 years to life under California's three-strikes
James Abernathy, 43, was convicted in June of felony animal cruelty for killing the dog, named Marie, after a fight with his girlfriend.
Abernathy would have faced a maximum of six years if not for two prior convictions in 1986 for assault with a deadly weapon.
"The community is much safer after the judge's ruling," said Deputy District Attorney Heather Brown.
Defence lawyers claimed Abernathy suffered from schizophrenia and psychotic delusions. The judge, however, ruled he was sane at the time of the
January 2002 violence.
"In the two years I've known him, he's been on anti-psychotic medication and he's probably one of the calmest, most rational, pleasant people
I've ever dealt with in this system," said Abernathy's lawyer, William Morrissey.
He must serve at least 20 years before he becomes eligible for parole, Ms Brown said."
The Australian: Dog killer gets 25 years jail