Man Gets 3-Year Jail Term for Dog´s Death

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SAN JOSE, California, JULY 13, 2001 ( A man who tossed a little dog to its death in a fit of road rage was sentenced to three years in prison.

Andrew Burnett, 27, was convicted last month of animal cruelty for throwing the bichon frisé, a variety of toy spaniel, into oncoming traffic after a minor traffic accident with the dog´s owner.

The courtroom erupted in applause today when Judge Kevin J. Murphy rejected a recommendation for probation and sentenced Burnett to the maximum possible for felony animal cruelty.

The dog´s owner, Sara McBurnett, and other witnesses testified that after the minor traffic accident in February 2000, Burnett yelled at her, reached through her open car window, grabbed the dog, named Leo, and hurled it into oncoming traffic. The pet was struck seconds later.

“It wasn´t just a dog to me,” McBurnett testified. “For me it was my child. He killed my baby right in front of me.”

Burnett´s attorney, Marc Garcia, said his client instinctively snatched the dog from the car after it bit him.

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