An Oakland man who was found guilty of burning his female Chihuahua puppy alive after it defecated at a friend’s house was sentenced to prison Friday, according to the Sacramento Bee.
A judge sentenced 21-year-old Willie Bee Turner to three years and eight months in the brutal January 2015 killing of the puppy named Angel Star, calling the crime “an unspeakable affront to societal norms,” the Bee reported.
Turner was convicted in March of malicious killing of an animal, animal abuse, and two counts of arson, according to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office.
He was arrested in February 2015, about a month after the charred remains of the weeks-old dog were found inside a burned plastic carrier near the Oaks Plains Masonic Lodge, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department said.
Turner had taken the puppy with him on a trip to visit a friend’s apartment in Sacramento on Jan. 20, during which time Angel Star defecated on the floor inside the residence, according to the DA’s office.
He then began excessive discipline on the dog, which included dousing the small animal with a bleach cleanser, prosecutors said.
The following day, the Chihuahua was observed to be limping badly and smelling of bleach and alcohol, the Bee reported.
Witnesses retrieved the puppy and placed it in a neighbor’s dog carrier, but Turner was able to walk off with Angel Star.
The incident culminated with Turner igniting the puppy and bedding inside the locked crate, burning the trapped dog alive, according to court testimony. A passerby spotted the fire and called 911.
In addition to the prison sentence, Turner will not be able to own a pet for 10 years and has to register as a lifetime arson offender, according to the Bee. He also cannot own or possess a firearm.
The terms of the sentencing frustrated animal advocates and Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Hilary Bagley, who expressed her disappointment in court.
“This is a piddly sentence for such a heinous crime,” Bagley told the judge. “Significant introspection for this type of crime is needed.”
A local animal advocate echoed Bagley’s sentiment.
“The results of this grotesque case of cruelty – the outcome of three years, eight months for the tossing off a balcony, dousing with bleach and the setting of this monster’s puppy on fire — hardly does justice to this little life,” Jennifer Canady told the Bee after Turner was sentenced.