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Animal Law

Veteran Gets 4 Months for Throwing 4-Pound Dog Off Bridge After Driveway Dispute

Posted Jun 8, 2010 12:55 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A unemployed cell-tower technician and Marine Corps veteran got a four-month jail term yesterday for throwing a 4-pound Chihuahua off a bridge in Maryland last year, presumably causing the dog's death.

David Beers, 35, pleaded guilty earlier this year to felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor theft in the case. He admittedly took the dog from its pen and threw it out the passenger window of his car off a bridge after driving about four miles. This followed a heated argument with the animal's owners in their driveway a short time earlier, according to the Associated Press and the Frederick News-Post.

Frederick County Circuit Judge G. Edward Dwyer Jr. suspended another two years and eight months of jail time, but Beers will be required to spend this time on supervised probation after he is released. He must also pay a $1,000 fine and a little over $300 restitution and perform 300 hours of community service.

Beers, who apologized in court to the owners, Caisha and Timothy Wantz of Jefferson, admitted to the crime after she tracked him down and put Maryland State Police on his trail, according to the articles.

He told investigators the dispute began after he pulled onto what he thought was a service road to make a cell phone call but it turned out to be the Wantz family's lengthy driveway. Encountering him there, they ordered Beers to leave and, he says, Caisha Wantz threw coffee onto his car and threatened to shoot him. After he left, they drove off and he returned and took the dog from its pen to get revenge, he admits.

"I was wrong, plain and simple," he said.

She says the death of the dog was traumatic for her and her two small children. The family fears further retaliation, she says, and plans to put their house up for sale and move rather than send their now 3- and 4-year-old to school with any of his six children.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "As Dognapping Suspect Is Extradited, Beloved Pet Is Still Missing"

ABAJournal.com: "Paralegal Seeks Damages from Ex-Partner for Death of Chihuahua"

Updated June 9 to correct a mistaken word.

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