Man accused of striking dog like golf ball pleads not guilty
A Menifee man accused of teeing up a Chihuahua and sending it flying into the air like golf ball when he struck it with a club, pleaded not guilty Monday to felony animal cruelty, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.
Larry Edward Jaurequi, 58, was described by his attorney as having an “unfortunate history with dogs,” after one attacked him years ago.
“He’s a good person that was going through a difficult time,” attorney Paul Grech told the newspaper. “I know he feels very badly about what happened.”
The 8-year-old Chihuahua named Lily reportedly suffered a lacerated liver, a broken leg and head trauma and was pronounced dead at an animal hospital on Jan. 27, the day after the incident.
The dog’s owner, Barbara Hitchman, 69, appeared in court with supporters and later denounced Jaurequi.
“I didn’t even want to look at him,” Hitchman told the Press-Enterpirse. “I just do hope that he gets what he deserves. I want justice for Lily.”
If convicted, Jaurequi faces up to four years in prison.
-- Matt Stevens