A West Virginia man was handed an eight-year prison term Friday for killing his ex-girlfriend’s puppy.
Richard Jones, 21, allegedly shot the dog, Marcie, multiple times after finding out that his then girlfriend, Janet Absen, went out with someone else last November.
“He took away something from me that I’ll never have again,” Absen said in court. "This dog was my daughter; she meant everything to me."
Jones claimed in court that he was not the one who shot the dog, but acknowledged being present when it took place.
Judge Duke Bloom ruled that Jones should serve consecutive sentences for attempted malicious killing of an animal and failure to appear in court. The second charge related to Jones’ earlier attempt to avoid trial by hiding in a local apartment.
“You've gone out in the community and shown that you have a total disregard for life, whether it's that of a puppy dog or a human being,” Bloom said in court. "With your antisocial characteristics there, I don't know what the next level is."
Prosecutors argued that Jones deserved prison time due to the high likelihood he would commit another crime. Bloom concurred, and the eight-year sentence he handed down was the longest he could have ordered.
Even Jones’ attorney, Justin Collins, was taken aback by his client’s actions.
“What makes his case stand out is his absolute stupid behavior in this case,” Collins said.
Collins noted that Jones’ behavior had become unrecognizable since he developed a drug problem.
Jones' sister stated that when he tried to avoid appearing in court, she turned him in because she feared for his life.
"I have nothing but hate towards him," Absen said. "I am so angry that he had to do this to me."