Man gets 25-year sentence for killing dog
A California man with a history of violence was sentenced Friday to more than 25 years in prison for beating his former girlfriend’s cocker spaniel to death with a hammer.
The conviction was a third strike for Alex Castro, leading in part to the lengthy sentence, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Castro, 48, of Milpitas, said the sentence was too much for killing a dog — and that he should get no more than the maximum three-year sentence for animal cruelty. The judge said he could not ignore the violence Castro inflicted in his life, according to the prosecutor.
“I am appreciative that not only did a jury take this case incredibly seriously, as evidenced by their verdict, but also that the judge did,” said Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith. “Despite the defendant’s claims he was getting too much time for ‘only killing a dog,’ he is getting this sentence for the violence in his past.”
A drywall worker, Castro was sentenced to 25 years to life for the 2007 dog killing, but with enhancements to his sentence, the earliest he’d be eligible for parole is 33 years, Smith said.
“The way he did it was horrible,” said Joanie Gonzalez, of San Jose, with whom Castrol shared a trailer in a mobile home park in Milpitas. Gonzales said was satisfied with the verdict. “There was no reason for it; that dog didn’t do anything wrong.”
Castro denied killing the 10-year-old dog, asserting in the trial that pools of Copper’s blood found by investigators were a result of him moving the dog several times after finding the dog dead. Prosecutors sought to have Copper’s killing counted as a third strike for Castro because he had two previous violent felonies, both involving assaults on humans, and more than 20 misdemeanor convictions.
Castro is due back in court Monday on charges of trying to prevent a witness from testifying in the trial over Copper’s death.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 28th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 25 years, alex castro, animal, cocker spaniel, conviction, copper, courts, crimes, cruelty, dog, dogs, harges, killed, killing, law, lengthy, milipitas, murder, sentence