A man pleaded is facing a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to felony animal cruelty.
Around 5:30 p.m. November 9, 2016, a resident in the 3700 block of 10th Street called 911, alleging his daughter saw a man stomp four puppies heads in front of five children under the age of nine, according to an Office of the State’s Attorney new release.
Witnesses said the suspect, who was later identified as Donald Yearwood, became upset after being awoken by crying and yelping puppies that the children were playing with. Yearwood emerged from the basement, dumped the puppies out of a box into the floor and began stomping them in the head. Afterwards, he threw them down the basement stairs and eventually carried the puppies in the box through the back of the house, according to the news release.
About two hours later, police responded to a report of four puppies in a box that were found in a dumpster near Benjamin Franklin High School in the 1300 block of Cambria Street. Animal Control was called to the scene and took the puppies to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic, where one of the puppies was vocalizing and three were deceased. The surviving puppy was later euthanized because it was suffering and poor prognosis.
Yearwood turned himself into authorities, but denied stomping the puppies. Luminol testing revealed presence of blood in the residence at the top of the stairs, where witnesses said Yearwood killed the puppies, according to the news release.
Necropsy results determined the puppies died due to “being directly and deliberately struck in the head.”
“The facts of this case are disturbing—first and foremost for its pure depravity—but secondly, for performing such a deranged act in front of children,” State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said. “I pray that the children who witnessed this terrible crime are able to recover emotionally from such a traumatic event.”
Yearwood faces a maximum six years of imprisonment. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 19.