Calling the killing of two dogs "an act of an evil heart," Circuit Court Judge Larry Hyman in Georgetown County, S.C. sentenced Bobby Joe McConnell on Monday to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine for two counts of the ill treatment of dogs.
McConnell pleaded guilty to killing two dogs who belonged to his relatives. According to abcnews.com, McConnell's public defender told the judge his client had been diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and had been under the influence of alcohol on the day he killed the dogs.
On July 2, 2012, a fisherman found a black Labrador retriever muzzled and tied with duct tape and left in a canal to die. Luckily after surgery to remove her spleen, the dog survived. The dog, named Dara has been in the care of Saint Francis Animal Care Center.
Two other dogs were not so lucky. Their bodies were found a few days later at the same canal. One dog had been duct taped in the same manner as Dara.
Saint Francis Animal Care Center will receive half of the $10,000 fine. McConnell has also been ordered to repay the shelter $1,872 for the cost of Dara's lifesaving operation. Custody of Dara has now been awarded to Saint Francis Animal Care Center.
"It's a fitting punishment for an awful crime towards innocent dogs. I just wish other judges would follow the footsteps of Judge Hyman," stated Margaret Holman of Myrtle Beach. "Only when judges get serious about letting the punishment fit the crimes will animal cruelty ever be taken seriously."
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