I saw this story out of Grand Rapids, Michigan of a 15-year-old boy who was sentenced to 20 years for invading a home and killing a dog. Jonathan Castelan said that when he broke into the home, the family’s 8-pound dachhound bit him and he killed it with a hammer.
What is interesting about this case is two fold. First, this is part of a plea despite the huge sentence. Second, the killing of the pet seems to have driver the demands for the long sentence as much as the home invasion. The fact that this is a teen would often factor into a lower sentence but (given the sentence and the release of his name) he appears to have been treated as an adult.
Owners Abel and Denise Soto actually complained that the sentence was too light because of the dog’s death.
The sentence is in fact quite long for the killing of a pet and also long for a home invasion in many states. We have often complained on this blog about the light treatment given the killing of pets. The community was enraged by the dog’s death in this case and it seems to have translated into a longer sentence.
For their part, the Sotos were given a new dachshund puppy by an anonymous source.
Source: USA Today