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|Judge(s):|| Roger M. Fisher| CONVICTED: Was justice served?
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Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010County: Snohomish
Defendant/Suspect: Norman Ray Sandretzky
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
The pit bull's head was bludgeoned with a hammer. Holes were drilled in his chest. Bucky was found dead, hanging by his hind legs in an Arlington barn last week.
Snohomish County sheriff's deputies believe the Arlington man responsible for killing the dog also threatened to kill his girlfriend, according to a police affidavit filed Tuesday in Everett District Court.
Norman Ray Sandretzky, 41, allegedly said the girlfriend and the dog no longer were of use to him, police said.
Sandretzky voluntarily surrendered to Snohomish County sheriff's deputies Monday. He was booked into the Snohomish County Jail for investigation of felony domestic violence harassment and first-degree animal cruelty.
A judge Tuesday ordered him held in lieu of $500,000 bail.
His girlfriend Tuesday was struggling to comprehend that her boyfriend of 17-years was being accused of killing her dog.
"All that dog ever wanted to do was play ball," Stephanie R. Swanson said during a phone interview Tuesday. "He was just a sweet dog."
The allegations against Sandretzky are false, said Angie Ruppert, who said she is his sister and attended his hearing.
She said her brother loves animals and that he told her that he shot Bucky because he was attacking chickens.
A necropsy of the 80-pound animal performed by a veterinarian at the girlfriend's request determined Bucky died from blunt force trauma strikes to the head. The doctor also said there were drill holes in his chest and no signs of gunshot wounds, according to court documents.
Bucky was rescued from a friend who had abused him and was training him for fighting, Swanson said.
Swanson told police that Sandretzky was unemployed, drinking and suffered from depression. He could no longer afford his medicine, she said.
He suffered a head injury in a car accident at the end of November and hasn't been the same since, Swanson said. She said she's tried unsuccessfully to get him help.
On March 29, Sandretzky reportedly called Swanson to tell her he'd shot the dog and he threatened to hurt her too, police said.
Bucky was no longer listening to him and was no longer useful, he allegedly said. He told Swanson "she was next," according to court documents.
The next day Swanson went to the property where Sandretzky lived. She told police she worried Sandretzky had killed himself.
"I thought I was finding two bodies that day, not one," she said.
Swanson said she heard Sandretzky talking to her through a door and found the dead dog hanging by his feet.
"It was horrible," she said.
She told investigators she left and returned the following day with relatives to collect evidence including the dog's remains, a hammer and a drill.
In court Tuesday, Judge Roger M. Fisher ordered Sandretzky to have no contact with his girlfriend.
"I love him," Swanson said. "He has my heart, he will always have my heart. His behavior was horrendous."
|An Arlington man who killed his dog and suggested he planned the same fate for a former girlfriend who loved the animal was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in jail.|
Norman Sandretzky, 41, wept as he asked for understanding from Snohomish County Superior Court Judge George Appel. The defendant said his actions March 29 were the result of personal problems he's sought help to address.
"I hope you can see that I'm not a bad person," he said.
The judge not only ordered Sandretzky behind bars, but also told the defendant he is barred from keeping animals for up to five years.
"This crime was cruel, savage and cowardly," Appel said.
Prosecutors said Sandretzky called his girlfriend in March and told her that he had killed Bucky, a pit bull. He also said the woman was next, according to court papers.
A veterinarian later examined the dog's body and reported the animal had skull fractures and several round holes in his body. A hammer and drill were found near the dog.
Sandretzky in June pleaded guilty to first-degree animal cruelty and attempted telephone harassment.
As part of the agreement, lawyers on both sides of the case said they'd recommend a 90-day jail sentence.
The death was investigated in part by animal-rights advocates. Their involvement both helped and hampered the case, the judge was told.
Deputy prosecutor Paul Stern said it was unlikely Bucky's death would have been treated as a crime had the advocates not brought evidence of the killing to the attention of authorities. Those who sought justice for the dog were helpful, engaged and respectful, he said.
At the same time, Stern said, the case was complicated by the advocates' decision to exhume the dog's body and present it to a veterinarian for a necropsy.
"That creates problems with presenting evidence in court," Stern said.
Had the case gone to trial, Sandretzky's attorney "would have had an awful lot of arrows in his quiver" to challenge admission of evidence against his client, Stern said. It was a factor the prosecutor said he had to weigh when considering how best to handle the case.
Sandretzky had a clean record and under the law faced a maximum possible sentence of a year in jail.
On Thursday, more than a dozen people were in the courtroom wearing T-shirts from Pasado's Safe Haven, an animal-welfare charity from Monroe.
Kim Koon, who described herself as the group's animal cruelty investigator, asked the judge to send a strong message in sentencing Sandretzky. She also asked that the defendant be barred from keeping animals.
Appel agreed with the latter recommendation, but said Sandretzky can petition in two years to again keep pets.
|Source: heraldnet.com - Jul 9, 2010|
Update posted on Jan 22, 2011 - 7:42PM
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