In Bentonville, Arkansas, a 24-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to choking a woman and killing her puppy.
On Tuesday, Dusten Blake Ward pleaded guilty to domestic abuse and animal cruelty charges dating from October 22, 2017 after Ward choked the woman, smashed her head to the floor and beat her with a metal pipe during a heated argument over a puppy. Ward then hit the 11-week-old puppy named Dez repeatedly with the metal pipe killing it. The woman was transferred to the hospital for injuries suffered.
According to 5NewsOnline, Ward was arrested by Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputies and charged with first-degree criminal mischief, aggravated assault on a family or household member and aggravated animal cruelty — all felonies. The couple reportedly had just become engaged, but it wasn’t long before a plea to adopt a puppy began to swirl around on social media. Many people reached out to help, but the puppy’s owner never replied. A Change.org petition stated the following:
“On Sunday, October 15th 2017, A newly engaged woman posted desperate pleas on Facebook and Instagram stating that she needed to find a home for her 11 week old puppy. Her posts were vague, but she mentioned that the puppy needed to be gone as soon as possible due to “danger in the house.” Several people commented on her posts, and even directly messaged her with the intent to adopt the puppy. She would not answer anyone’s questions about who was going to harm the puppy, or why the puppy was in danger in the first place…”
Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren sentenced Ward to 25 years after he was charged as a habitual offender. He will have to abide by a suspended sentence agreement for 15 years after his release from prison. He also has to pay $1,170 in court costs.
(Photo of man sentenced to 25 years in prison via BCSO)
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