(sentencing story #2)
Jail sought for puppy killer
Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald
Published: Tuesday, May 13, 2008
A man who beat a puppy so badly it had to be euthanized should be jailed, says a prosecutor, dismissing an impassioned apology from the guilty man.
"The most aggravating factor I identify is the extreme level of brutality involved against this defenceless animal," Crown prosecutor Gord Haight said in seeking a three- to four-month jail term for Christopher Piasentin.
"He was hitting the dog in a rage he was in after the dog wet on the bed."
Piasentin, 25, who previously pleaded guilty to causing pain and suffering, wiped away tears as he said there was never a question he was remorseful and took responsibility for his actions.
"I've taken every step in ensuring I don't react this way again," Piasentin told court Monday. "I'm honestly sorry. I'd do anything to take it back."
Defence lawyer Willie deWit, saying it was a momentary lapse, argued for a conditional jail sentence to be served in the community.
"The incident happened and he is remorseful," said deWit. "You look for answers why you would do this. That is what he is doing."
Minutes before Piasentin apologized, his mother, who did not give her name, told the judge she was shocked at the "extremely heinous crime" her son committed.
She said he had no history of violence and part of the problem was a combination of alcohol, drugs and stress.
Court previously heard Piasentin was at home with the dog, Levi, when the incident occurred Nov. 1, 2006.
The beagle had extensive fractures, a damaged liver, bruising and lung and brain hemorrhaging, according to the veterinarian's report.
Piasentin will be sentenced June 5.
© The Calgary Herald 2008
Fri, June 6, 2008
Puppy pounder in dog house
UPDATED: 2008-06-06 04:01:22 MST
Judge issues man house arrest and two-year ban on owning an animal for deadly beating
By NADIA MOHARIB, SUN MEDIA
The man convicted of causing deadly injuries to a defenceless puppy thanked the judge after she handed him a five-month sentence to be served under house arrest.
Christopher Piasnetin then walked out to a waiting group of angry animal-rights activists who were at yesterday's court proceedings.
The group of about a dozen people told Piasentin they hope he thinks of Levi, his four-month-old Beagle victim, every day and he said he does.
"I can understand why everyone's upset," he said.
"I can assure you I'll never be charged with anything like this again.
"Sorry, doesn't quite cut it but I'd do anything to take it back."
Piasentin, now 26, was convicted of causing unnecessary pain, suffering or injury to a dog after he lost his temper on little Levi.
Court heard he was drinking heavily and doing cocaine when the puppy, who lived in the home he shared with his then-girlfriend, urinated and defecated in the basement.
He sent a text message to his girlfriend saying he was going to kill the puppy.
He followed up on the threat after the puppy urinated again on Piasentin who was in the bed, hitting "Levi repeatedly, so severely that the puppy was rendered unconscious, was bleeding from the nose and ... suffered injury to his lung, brain and liver," court heard.The dog was euthanized the next day.
Crown Gord Haight was seeking a jail sentence of three to four months, arguing incarceration is necessary to send a message to society such crimes are unacceptable.
He cited the fact Piasentin did not take Levi immediately to the vet and the extreme violence as aggravating factors.
Defence lawyer Willie DeWit pushed for a conditional term, claiming his client has no criminal record, pleaded guilty, has been trying to deal with his addiction problems and that the brutal attack was "a momentary lapse followed immediately by profound remorse."
As part of the sentence, provincial Judge Anne Brown ordered Piasentin to serve two years probation and gave him the maximum two-year-ban on owning an animal, and 100 hours of community service.
Humane Society peace officer Brad Nichols said "the length is appropriate and as strict as you can get without putting him in custody ... but the severity of the sentence is minimized by serving it at home," he said.