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Guardsman Sentenced to Prison for Killing Dogs

A Sacramento Superior Court judge on Thursday sentenced a Sacramento man to state prison after he pleaded guilty to kicking to death one pet dog and drowning another in a washing machine.

Judge Steve White sentenced Ramone King Jr. to two years, eight months in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of felony animal abuse.

The sentence against King, a National Guardsman who appeared in court in uniform on at least one occasion, was unusually harsh for someone with no prior criminal record, said prosecutor Hilary Bagley-Franzoia.

But the facts of the case were particularly disturbing, she said. "King's uncontrollable rage and extreme cruelty earned him a direct route to prison," said the prosecutor.

The city's chief animal control officer, Daniel Torres, is a former police sergeant who has been aggressively pursuing cruelty cases during his three-year tenure at the facility.

Torres said Thursday that his office has submitted 10 such cases for prosecution this year. In February, in a case based on a city animal control investigation, a judge sentenced a man with a long criminal history to eight years in prison for savagely beating an acquaintance's pet dog.

In the latest case, King was charged in the deaths of two dogs in separate incidents.

In April, according to investigators, he found a Chihuahua running loose in his south Sacramento neighborhood. After the animal bit a child in his home, King put the dog in a washing machine, turned it on and drowned the animal, prosecutors said.

The following month, King's former girlfriend called city police and animal control and said he had kicked to death her dog, a Pomeranian mix named Bailey, after it urinated in his bedroom.

King initially denied killing his neighbor's dog, and said the death of the second dog was an accident. But investigators developed evidence showing that King became upset at both animals over "petty misbehavior," said Bagley-Franzoia.

"This is a guy who bragged about putting the dog in the washing machine, turning it on and sitting on the lid," said Torres. "We feel really good that not only were we able to get evidence good enough to prosecute, we are sending him to state prison."

King likely will face discharge from the National Guard, an official said.

"The appropriate disposition would be to consider the soldier for administrative separation for commission of a serious offense," said Guard spokesman Maj. Jonathan Masaki Shiroma. That could mean loss of retirement and other Veterans Administration benefits, Shiroma said.



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