In August 2011, Haniyyah Barnes threw Honey Bey, a 2-year-old Shih Tzu, into traffic, where the dog was killed by a car. She initially pleaded guilty to burglary, animal cruelty and theft charges, but she later withdrew the plea, NJ.com reported.
Honey Bey’s death was sparked by a parking dispute between Barnes and her neighbor, Nazirah Bey, in Newark, New Jersey.
Superior Court Judge Richard Sules ruled on Feb. 24, that Barnes showed “callous indifference” to Honey Bey and sentenced her to four years in state prison on animal cruelty and related offenses. Barnes has also been ordered to pay $2,000 in restitution and must perform 30 days of community service for an organization that prevents animal cruelty.
Sules also said Barnes, 29, has an “anger problem which needs to be addressed.”
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A jury convicted Barnes of animal cruelty, theft and criminal mischief on Oct. 13, 2015, but the jury failed to come to a verdict on burglary charges, for which there will be a second trial, according to a follow-up story from NJ.com.
When Barnes initially pleaded guilty in April 2014, prosecutors claimed Barnes kicked in Bey’s front door to confront her about the parking issue but that when the dog began barking, Barnes admittedly grabbed her by the throat and threw her into the traffic outside of Bey’s home.
A Newark police officer saw Barnes throw the dog and arrested her at the scene.
Honey Bey belonged to both Nazirah and her daughter, who was a preteen at the time. The two now each wear a locket with Honey Bey’s ashes and Bey said it was difficult to explain the dog’s death to her three children. "It's not a dog," she said. "It's really family to us."
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Barnes' attorney, Michelle Treiber, said her client was remorseful. "I think she has gotten herself together and this was a changing event, a life-changing event for her,” she said.
The family has since adopted another Shih Tzu.