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Animals In Print
The On-Line Newsletter

From 19 April 2004 Issue

Puppy Killer Gets a Year in Jail
By CATHY REDFERN

SANTA CRUZ  ” A man who killed a Pomeranian puppy with a golf club was sentenced Monday to a year in jail. Steven David Jackson, 39, who now lives in The Colony, Texas, faced up to three years and 8 months in prison for striking the 8-pound puppy in the skull in June 2001. The dog, Chiquilin, had to be euthanized. Jackson was convicted Feb. 2 of animal cruelty and attempted witness intimidation. On Monday, Judg [bad text] happens today," said Isen, who received hundreds of letters urging full prosecution of Jackson. "We need to tell others that Santa Cruz County won't accept this type of behavior."

Jackson was convicted of trying to intimate the owners of the puppy, Lourdes Rivas and Cecilia Morales of Santa Cruz, by yelling racial slurs and threatening them as they used a pay phone in front of his home. Rivas said Monday she's glad the case is closed: "I was expecting prison, but this is good."

Several of Jackson's family members attended the hearing, including his 5-year-old daughter. Jackson, who works as a pizza deliveryman at night and watches his three children during the day, did not speak, but wiped away tears when his mother spoke for him.

Barbara Dalton of Maryland said people have been unfairly judging her son for his size since he was 2 years old. She called him a loving father and a good neighbor to many at Pine Knolls Mobile Manor, where he lived at the time of the incident.

"Now again he is being judged for his size," she said. "He has a big heart. That is what he should be judged for. He's never been a person to inflict cruelty to animals or people."

Jackson's father-in-law, David Kenzler, angrily struck the back of the seat in front of him when the sentence was read. Later, outside the courtroom, he called it ridiculous.

"People seem more concerned about a dog than human beings," he said. Public defender Art Dudley pointed to Jackson’s "very insignificant criminal history," and said he was a productive man who would be an excellent candidate for probation. He said he is not a danger to others. Jackson was arrested twice in the county, for assault in 1990 and for spousal battery in 1997, probation officials said. They said Jackson now owns a young Dachshund named Bella.

Contact Cathy Redfern at credfern@santacruzsentinel.com

 

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