An Omaha man's violent past catches up with him; now he's headed to prison for killing a dog. Anthony Stevens was sentenced Wednesday to 20 months to five years in prison for killing "Honey," his fianceé’s Chihuahua.
Ironically, it was Stevens' past which contributed to his current predicament. Headed into Judge Pankonin's courtroom, Stevens hoped that he would be sentenced to time served and a lengthy probation period.
Judge Pankonin saw things differently and sentenced Stevens to up to five years. "We applaud the judge's decision," said the Nebraska Humane Society's Mark Langan. "Judge Pankonin looked at the facts and realized that this was a domestic violence situation. This dog was just a pawn in a violent situation involving this guy and his girlfriend."
Project Pet Safe:
Because animal abuse and domestic violence go hand in hand the Nebraska Humane Society has started Project Pet Safe.
Any female who checks herself into an approved domestic violence program can house their dog or cat at NHS and get their pet our of harms way as well as themselves.
Investigators say when Stevens was taken into custody, Stevens denied hurting the animal, then told them, "It's just a dog, I paid for it."
It all started at 27th and Laurel Avenue in late July. Stevens and his fiancee were in a heated argument. Honey was outside on a retaining wall. At one point, Stevens became so enraged he kicked the dog and Honey landed about 10 feet away. There was nothing the vets could do for Honey because his internal injuries were too severe. They had to put the dog down.
Before sentencing, the judge ran down some of Stevens' criminal history that included 11 felony arrests and seven convictions. Many of the convictions were violent and domestic.
"It's very common in domestic violence situations that rather than harm the female you harm the dog because that actually causes more mental harm to the female than her actually being injured," said Langan.
Honey was in the home only two days before he was killed. Stevens plead no contest to the charges in October. In addition to the time behind bars, he is not to own any pets for the next 15 years.
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