An Ohio judge had harsh words for a convicted dog killer Monday during a scalding court hearing where he slapped him with the maximum sentence possible -- one he admittedly wished could have been worse.
"Would I like to put you in the dumpster? Yeah, I'd love to do that! But the only thing I can do is max you," Judge Michael Cicconetti said to Michael Andrew Sutton in a Painesville Municipal court, according to The News-Herald.
Sutton’s 180-day jail sentence followed the 23-year-old's guilty plea. He admitted to tossing a 3-month-old puppy out of a six-story window earlier this month, court records show. The dog's body was later recovered inside a trash compactor where Sutton admitted to stashing it, Cleveland.com reported.
"I know my actions were sick," Sutton told the judge while pleading guilty to animal cruelty charges on May 9. He went on to request leniency while citing mental health issues, The News-Herald reported.
Cicconetti reflected on Sutton's past criminal record as well as his need for medication, something Sutton's defense claimed that he couldn’t afford.
"I am sick and tired of people coming in here and blaming this on mental illness," Cicconetti said, slamming Sutton's defense Monday.
“When you broke your mother’s ribs, were you on medication then? How about when [you assaulted] the mother of your child while she was holding your baby? Were you on medication then? We the taxpayers paid you $700 a month because you were on disability,” Cicconetti told him. “That’s not mental illness! You are revolting, and you are inhuman.”
As part of his sentence, Sutton will be on probation for five years after his release. He will not be allowed to have any animals in his possession and will have to undergo mental health treatment, court records show.
The News-Herald reported that animal activists were outside the courtroom Tuesday advocating for harsher animal cruelty laws. The group, identified as Nitro’s Ohio Army, have been pushing to make certain acts of animal cruelty a felony offense, according to their Facebook page.
Late last month, House Bill 60, also known as "Goddard's Law," went before the Ohio Senate for the third time. If passed, it would make such acts a fifth-degree felony, Fox 8 reported.