A man who beat and drowned his pit bull has been sentenced to 6 1/2 years in prison.
Robert Prichard, 60, was convicted by a Texas jury of animal cruelty.
The charges stemmed from an event last year wherein Prichard beat his pet pit bull Candy with a shovel and then drowned her in a pool, reports The Daily Mail. The abuse was reportedly triggered by Candy attacking him and ruining his furniture.
Prichard claimed during the trial he hit Candy after she threatened him and his then 8-year-old twin boys.
“I just hit it, hit it, hit it and held it,’ Prichard said from the witness stand. “And I thought it was unconscious.”
Prichard also said he threw Candy in the pool to “cool her off.”
Prosecutors claimed in court Prichard used a pool net to drown Candy when she tried to get out of the pool.
The animal’s struggle was captured on surveillance video that was shown to the jury.
Candy was described in court by Prichard as being “too dangerous” and “destructive” for his family.
Prichard asked for mercy before sentencing and requested probation.
“I beg your mercy,” Prichard pleaded. “I’ve been in jail. I miss my children. I can’t go back and change anything, I can only go from here forward.”
Kent Starr, Prichard’s attorney, plans to appeal the sentence.
Prichard has previous offenses on his record, including domestic violence and assaulting a police officer. His ex-wife claims he beat her several times during their marriage from 1986 to 1992.
Prosecutor David Alex called Prichard a “ticking time bomb” that would before long go off in public during closing arguments, reports The Dallas Morning News.
Prichard’s 6 1/2 year sentence will include the 10 months he has already served in jail. He will be eligible for parole on good behavior.
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