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Four months for Md. man who threw Chihuahua off bridge

A man who threw a stranger's 4-pound Chihuahua off a bridge to her death in a fit of anger told the owners Monday that he “was wrong, plain and simple,” before a judge sentenced him to four months in jail.

David M. Beers, 35, an unemployed cell-tower technician and Marine Corps veteran, also must pay a $1,000 fine, perform 300 hours of community service, and pay $318 restitution to Caisha and Timothy Wantz of Jefferson for killing their dog Zoey on June 19, 2009.

Frederick County Circuit Judge G. Edward Dwyer Jr. suspended a three-year prison term and ordered Beers to serve three years of supervised probation after his release.

Beers pleaded guilty in March to felony animal cruelty and misdemeanor theft for returning to the Wantzes' home after they had ordered him off their rural property and snatching the dog from an outdoor pen. They had a heated exchange minutes earlier when the Wantzes, on their way out, met Beers in their quarter-mile driveway making a cell phone call. He claimed he had mistaken the dirt lane for a service road.

Beers, a father of six, told investigators Mrs. Wantz threw coffee on his car and threatened to shoot him. To get even, he waited nearby until the family left, grabbed the white-and-tan Chihuahua and, as he drove home to Brunswick, threw her out the passenger window into Catoctin Creek, 20 feet below a bridge four miles from the Wantzes' house.

Beers confessed to police after Caisha Wantz tracked him down, alerted authorities and launched an Internet campaign against him. On Monday, Assistant State's Attorney Colleen K. Swanson gave the judge a petition bearing 1,200 electronic signatures supporting the Wantzes' demand for a harsh sentence.

“Zoey was our baby,” said Caisha Wantz, who also has two small children. “This affected our family the way the loss of a child would.” She said the episode so upset her and her family that they plan to move to avoid future contact with Beers.

“I believe with all my heart and soul that we are in danger,” she said.

State's Attorney J. Charles Smith said jail time was appropriate.

“The most troubling thing about this case is, if it wasn't for the pet, what then? What if a child was there? What would he have done to their home?”

Judge Dwyer said there was no rational explanation for Beers' actions.

“I can't get beyond the fact — whether it was an aberration on your part or not — that you came back,” Dwyer said, “And you deliberately stole the dog and you killed it.”

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post Editors  |  June 8, 2010; 7:48 AM ET
Categories:  Frederick , From the Courthouse , Offbeat  
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Cruelty to animals, i.e. torturing them, killing them, starving them, etc., is a serious matter. It has been frequently discovered to be a childhood pattern that was present in serial killers' backgrounds. Just read the other day about the unknown person who tortured and killed baby birds in a nest. Creepy. Fits of anger that lead to this kind of behavior may be less indicative of a serious character defect, but those persons still need to be punished for their heinous deeds. I volunteer at a local animal shelter and it is unbelievable what some animals have suffered before they are rescued, if they are lucky enough to be alive. Can you believe cutting the ears off of a cat? I've seen it. Scary.

Posted by: pumpkin4 | June 9, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

To davidwg46, Dude you are "whacked" out. Get some compassion. You and David Beers are on the same level.

Posted by: skatersnowy | June 9, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Four months is not enough punishment for this piece of garbage! And anyone who has the attitude "well, it was just a DOG" is as disgusting as the perpetrator of the crime. What a "big man" this guy was to pick on a 4 lb dog. I hope he gets everything coming to him and more in jail.

Posted by: jwolny1 | June 10, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

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