Case Snapshot
Case ID: 9402
Classification: Kicking/Stomping, Beating
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
More cases in Alameda County, CA
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Sunday, Jul 23, 2006

County: Alameda

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Dismissed

Person of Interest: Bernadette Hutcherson

Case Updates: 4 update(s) available

An Oakland woman has been charged with felony animal abuse for killing her 6-week-old puppy on July 23 by smashing its head into the pavement, authorities said.

Oakland Animal Services shelter director Sgt. Dave Cronin said that what happened to the dog "was a brutal, brutal thing to do. It was completely defenseless."

Police said the suspect, Bernadette Hutcherson, 19, was walking the yellow Labrador retriever on a leash with some friends Sunday in the 1700 block of 28th Avenue.

For some reason the dog angered Hutcherson, who began kicking it, causing it to flip over several times, police said. She then picked the dog up and slammed its head into the pavement at least twice, police said.

Officer Roland Holmgrem said a passerby tried to rescue the puppy, but it died a few minutes after being injured.

"You can't put a leash on a 6-week-old puppy," said Cronin. "It shouldn't have even been outside."

A necropsy on the animal determined that the skull was cracked, and the report stated that the "puppy could not have died from any other cause than a severe traumatic blow to the head," authorities said.

Animal cruelty charges can be either a misdemeanor or a felony. In this case the Alameda County District Attorney's Office charged Hutcherson with a felony because of the incident's vicious nature and Hutcherson's intent to kill, authorities said.

Hutcherson does not have a prior conviction of animal abuse.

Hutcherson was still in custody on July 26.

Case Updates

Felony animal cruelty charges have been dismissed against Bernadette Hutcherson, due to lack of evidence. Last July, Hutcherson was arrested for allegedly killing her 6 week-old puppy by smashing its head into the pavement. Yesterday, the court dismissed the charges because the primary witness left the country, and was unable to be located. The District Attorney's Office will likely re-file the case if the witness becomes available.
Source: Docket # 521079
Update posted on Jan 10, 2007 - 1:21PM 
The preliminary hearing for Bernadette Hutcherson (Docket # 521079) has been continued to January 9, 2007 at 8:30 a.m. in Department 112 at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse located at 661 Washington Street, Second Floor, Oakland, CA 94607.
Source: Alameda County Superior Court
Update posted on Dec 12, 2006 - 4:11PM 
Bernadette Hutcherson is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 9AM on Dec 5, 2006.
Source: Docket #521079
Update posted on Nov 9, 2006 - 4:39PM 
County: Alameda
Docket #521079
Court: 10/11/06

Contact - Tom Orloff
Alameda County District Attorney
1225 Fallon St. Room 900
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 272-6222 phone
(510) 271-5157 fax
Update posted on Oct 15, 2006 - 9:03PM 


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