27-Year-Old Newport Beach Man Sentenced to 9 Months in Jail, Probation for Killing His Roommate’s Dog

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A 27-year-old Newport Beach man convicted of killing his roommate’s dog was sentenced to nine months in jail and five years of formal probation, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Justin James Pope was sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to felony charges of animal cruelty and petty theft, along with misdemeanor counts of destroying or concealing evidence and making a false report to an officer.

Pope killed his roommate’s dog at their home on Aug. 30 at about 4:30 p.m., prosecutors said. The roommate found out when she got a call from Pope that same day and she called police soon after.

When officers showed up to the home, they found blood, urine and feces in “suspicious locations,” prosecutors said in a news release. At the time, no property appeared to be missing.

According to prosecutors, once police officers left the home, Pope then staged a burglary — removing evidence from the home and disposing of his roommate’s TV in a nearby apartment complex. At 10:22 p.m. that night, his roommate called police again to report the burglary.

Evidence found at the home when officers arrived earlier in the day, along with an Xbox and Pope’s TV as well as his roommate’s TV, were all missing when police showed up again later that night.

Police later found the missing electronics in the trunk of Pope’s car, prosecutors said, and he was arrested at the scene.

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