MANATEE -- A Bradenton man was sentenced to 18 months in state prison for throwing his girlfriend's puppy against a wall, causing the its eye to protrude from its socket.
Eddric Webster pled no contest to a third-degree felony charge of cruelty to animals on Nov. 15.
Webster had been caring for his girlfriend's 6-month-old shih tzu puppy when it soiled his home, causing him to get enraged. After cleaning the mess, he began to beat the dog's cage, causing dents to it before grabbing the puppy and throwing it against a wall.
Manatee County Judge Edward Nicholas also sentenced Webster to 18 months of probation and ordered him to undergo a psychological evaluation and any treatment or counseling deemed necessary. Webster was also ordered to take an anger management course and pay court, prosecution and investigative fees.
"One could look at the circumstances of the violence towards this little dog, one could conclude you have issues," Nicholas said. "Clearly, you were raised in a violent, hostile home where violence was the immediate answer."
Nicholas concluded by telling Webster he needs to get to the root of his anger issues.
Webster showed remorse at the hearing.
"I'm sorry for what I did, I wasn't in the right state of mind," Webster said. "It was an honest mistake, I am sorry for what I did, sir."
While Nicholas believed he was remorseful, he questioned the level of anger.
"That is a pretty out of control anger, to take a dog and threw it against the wall," Nicholas said. "What is hard for me to understand is that level of anger that would cause you to do something like that. Where does that come from?"
Defense attorney David Ehlers said Webster had been drinking at the time of incident on April 14.
Assistant State Attorney Lisa Chittaro, however, said there was a correlation between Webster's violence towards animals and his violence towards people.
"The defendant in this case recently pled to battery on the same victim," Chittaro said. "The motivation for being so cruel was to get to her."
Webster's previous arrests include charges for battery, possession of marijuana, aggravated assault with a firearm, resisting arrest, failure to appear and violating probation.
Jessica De Leon, law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.