Animal Rights

Former Alabama Lawyer Confesses To Slitting Pet Dog's Throat

| by Nathaly Pesantez

A former practicing attorney from Birmingham, Alabama, confessed during a hearing on Monday to killing his pet dog, Rufus, by slitting his throat in 2012. 

James Stewart Robinson, 48, pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree cruelty to a dog or cat and to one count of third-degree domestic violence. The first-degree cruelty count is a class C felony.

Through a plea deal with the case’s prosecutors, Robinson will receive probation. 

Robinson also said during his court hearing that he had an addiction to Adderall after it was prescribed to him for his ADHD, according to 

John Rochester, Retired Clay County Circuit Judge, prompted Robinson to say what exactly he did to his dog in 2012. 

“I killed him by slicing his throat,” Robinson stated before the court. 

“We want to thank (Jefferson County) animal cruelty investigator Dwight Sloan,” said Gwendolyn Connolly, Assistant St. Clair County District Attorney and prosecutor to the case. “Without all his hard work and perseverance this would not have happened.”

Robinson told that he was deeply sorry for his actions, and that he loves animals and people.

“Rufus was a very loving dog and I am horrified that I crossed a line that never in a million years I thought I would cross,” he said. 

Robinson turned himself in to Jefferson County Jail in November 2012, and a five-month long investigation into the incident ensued. 

In 2012, Robinson and his former partner both wanted custody of the dog after filing for divorce, according to WCFT. 

Robinson blamed his former wife for the dog’s death, but after searching through electronic data and running forensic analyses, authorities discovered that Robinson was likely behind the dog’s death. 

The Alabama State Bar changed Robinson’s Robinson standing to “disability inactive status” in 2012 after the incident. 

While Robinson currently works for a Birmingham construction company, he hopes to practice law one again. 

Sources:, WCFT
Photo Credit: