UPDATED: Ricky Lee Knowles was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay Kona’s veterinarian bills, which totaled $5,000.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Dione Hauger said she asked for the maximum sentence because the dog was a defenseless victim and the crime was particularly brutal.
“It was based on the brutality of the actual crime. It was based on the thought and premeditation that went into it. And it was based on the fact that this was a fairly vulnerable victim,” Hauger said.
Knowles apologized to Kona’s family at the sentencing. He was ordered to serve six months in jail and spend another six months on electronic home monitoring. He is also banned from owning pets.
INITIAL POST: An Orting man who beat his neighbor’s dog with a hatchet is set to be sentenced this morning.
Pierce County prosecutors have said they will ask for the high end of the sentencing range for Ricky Lee Knowles, 55, which is one year in jail.
Pasado’s Safe Haven said a few demonstrators will gather outside the courthouse to ask for a stiff punishment.
Knowles pleaded guilty to first-degree animal cruelty Sept. 17. He was arrested March 20 after police found a neighbor’s 3-year-old dog, Kona, tied to a pole in his garage on Williams Street Northwest. The dog suffered a crushed skull and brown jaw, among other injuries.
Knowles did not say why he attacked the pup, but Kona’s owners – who have since moved from the neighborhood – said Knowles complained once about the dog barking.
Animal control officers who rescued Kona had to cut a pierce of wire matted with dog hair from around the dog’s neck. They found blood-splattered cutting tools, dog treats and a bloody garbage can when they served a search warrant at Knowles’ home after his arrest.