In San Bernardino, California, the man who drove his car into a lake with his physically challenged wife and dog has been convicted of second-degree murder and animal cruelty.
According to Ktla5News, Ronald Hitchcock 61, faces 15 years to life in prison after he was found guilty on Tuesday at the San Bernardino Justice Center for the September 2012 incident at Big Bear Lake. After he drove the car into the lake, Hitchcock was able to exit the vehicle, but his wife Deborah Crouch, 53, who was unable to walk couldn’t escape. Deborah and their black Labrador retriever Onyx, were stuck in the vehicle and drowned.
Hitchcock was overheard saying there was no way his wife “was going to get out of this one.” The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office stated, in a press release, the autopsy on Deborah showed she drowned, however there had been “bruises all over her body consistent with physical violence and defensive wounds. ”
A video from a rescue diver showed Crouch’s body floating inside the car and the dog’s head stuck in the partially rolled down window.
Hitchcock will be sentenced on February 28.
(Photos of Hitchcock and murder of wife and dog via San Bernardino County DA Office)
Rest in peace Deborah and Onyx.
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Continue reading: Veterinarian accused of animal cruelty loses his license