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D.C. man gets 120 days in jail for crushing puppy

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Northeast D.C. man was sentenced to 120 days in jail Tuesday for killing a sleeping puppy by dropping a 100-pound cement block on its head, prosecutors said.

Sean Delontay Branch, 24, pleaded guilty to a felony cruelty to animals charge in September, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District said. He will be placed on three years of supervised release after the jail term and was ordered to meet certain conditions that include learning ways to handle anger management. Branch must also pay $450 to a crime victims' fund.

According to court documents, the bashed and bloody body of 6-month-old King Tut, described as a pit bull-type breed, was found at about 10:30 a.m. June 29 behind the Circle 7 convenience store on Mount Olivet Road Northeast.

Police who responded to the incident were told by the animal's owner that "he knew who killed his dog," a man claiming to have been robbed the night before by King Tut's owner — which the dog's owner denied.

Mr. Branch himself came to police days after King Tut was killed, court documents show, to talk to police about allegedly being assaulted with a glass bottle wielded by the dog's owner.

Mr. Branch "stated that he accidentally killed the man's dog the day prior," which he told police had spurred the dog's owner to attack him.

Asked by police to recount what happened with the dog, Mr. Branch said he was looking for a shady spot to sit behind the convenience store, and tossed a rock out of his way to make space.

"He said that one stone ... accidentally landed on the head of the dog," court papers said. "When he saw what he did, he quickly walked away because he knew [the owner] would be mad and had a temper."

Officers at the scene the day the dog died stated in court papers that the animal was lying next to the building, covered in newspapers, with no other rocks around except one that had blood and fur on it.

King Tut's owner told police that he had only left the puppy alone for five minutes behind a building where people were milling around.

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