A Riverside, California man was sentenced to prison on Thursday for beating a stray dog to death with a shovel. According to CbsLANews, Efrem Rodriquez Martinez, 55, will spend the next five years locked up after pleading guilty to beating the dog and admitting he used the shovel as a weapon.
Spokesperson for the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, John Welsh, stated the three-year-old terrier mix known as Rusty, who lived in the Whitewater neighborhood, had been a friendly stray that neighbors regularly fed and occasionally took into their homes. On June 8, 2015, a witness saw Martinez “swing the shovel and hit the dog one last time before swooping the dog upon the shovel and tossing it over his back fence into the desert.”
Area residents were outraged and called Animal Services who rushed Rusty to an emergency veterinarian hospital, but sadly the dog died a few days later.
The Riverside County Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer posted the following statement as to Martinez’ sentence:
“Prison terms are not common for a majority of our animal cruelty cases, so we find it extremely satisfying to learn that Mr. Martinez received this level of punishment.”
Martinez has a previous strike. The three-strikes law increases prison sentences for those convicted of a felony.
Rest in peace Rusty.
(Photos for man sentenced to prison via Riverside County Sheriff’s Office and Riverside County Animal Services)
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