After torturing, stabbing and strangling his dog to death, a Belleville man will serve 18 months probation.
Craig L. Smith, 55, pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to an animal for abusing a pit bull mix found dead in a vacant lot.
The pit bull had been rehomed two weeks before its death because its former owner’s landlord wouldn’t allow pets. The former owners told police they gave the dog to Smith.
Smith later told police he was walking the dog when it bit his pants, tripping him. He fell to the ground and began swinging a box cutter, striking the dog in the neck, side and legs.
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As a part of Smith’s sentence, he has to undergo a mental health assessment, and isn’t allowed to own or reside with any cats or dogs.
Assistant State’s Attorney Lisa Porter sought a sentence of 30 months in prison. Possible sentencing for the charge ranged from probation to three years in prison.
Reporter Beth Hundsdorfer contributed to this report.