Ronald Turner, 30 of Somerset, Kentucky, who was videotaped by a neighbor in June, violently beating and abusing an 8 month old Labrador retriever named Romeo, has been sentenced to 120 days of jail time and a $500 fine.
The jury debated on 90 minutes after the daylong trial. This case garnered national headlines and outraged dog and animal lovers because of the videotaped attack on the chained dog.
Turner was caught on tape by his neighbor, Jeff Knabusch, choking and punching the puppy, Romeo; rolling a doghouse onto him; slamming him against a tree; and lifting him overhead by his feet and slamming him to the ground.
Knabusch said he began videotaping the attack through a window of his home after his wife, Judy, ran in from the back yard and told him to look. He videotaped the incident because he was fed up with Turner’s behavior, Knabusch said.
“I can’t even describe the noise” the dog made when Turner choked it, Judy Knabusch testified.
Turner testified, asking for mercy, saving he lost his head after the dog bit him and was barking uncontrollably. His attorney also asked for leniency for his client adding the the dog was not seriously injured and also the the puppy, which was removed, belonged to his wife and it’s strained his marriage. Turner’s lost two jobs due to the widespread publicity.
Sorry, gotta admit I just can’t work up a lot of sympathy for the guy. When about if the next time he ‘loses his head’ it’s around a child?
The prosecutor, county Attorney Bill Thompson, said Turner deserved the maximum sentence, calling the attack horrible.
“He’s accepted responsibility today,” Thompson said, “because today’s the day of reckoning.”
Isn’t that the way it usually happens though, abusers and criminals tend to be very apologetic when it come time for them to pay the price for their crimes.
It is now a misdemeanor for the first offense. The maximum penalty Turner faced on a charge of second-degree cruelty to animals was a year in jail and a $500 fine; a bill filed for the upcoming legislative session would make torturing a dog or cat a felony punishable by one to five years in prison.
He’s lucky, he could have had an even harsher sentence and now the possibly exists if the upcoming legislation is passed, that future abusers will face stronger penalties.
And in the final turn of bad luck for Tuner, his attorney, Jim Cox, asked District Judge Kathryn Gregory Wood to let Turner stay out of jail on bond until after Christmas while considering whether to appeal. Wood ordered Turner to begin serving the four-month sentence right away, however.
We can only hope that he will learn his lesson though too few actually do.
Source – Kentucky.com