A 56-year-old Hawthorne man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he hit his girlfriend and killed her 9-year-old Yorkshire terrier.
Brian Scott Burlingame faces one felony count each of cruelty to an animal and injuring a cohabitant, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Burlingame was accused of throwing a metal rack at his girlfriend Linda Castle on June 14 while she was holding her Yorkshire terrier in her Lawndale home.
"I was trying to leave and Scott threw ... this metal object at me and hit Bodie in the head," Castle said. "And fractured his skull."
There was blood all over, she said. Castle rushed the terrier to the vet, but it was too late.
"He was my heart," Castle said. "I've had him for nine years."
Burlingame took off after the fight but came back the next day, Castle said.
That was when authorities arrested him.
The couple was engaged and had been together about two years, Castle said, calling the incident "very, very traumatic."
Burlingame was being held on $120,000 bail and was due back in court on July 1.
If convicted as charged, he faced a possible maximum sentence of five years and eight months in state prison.