LANCASTER – A 26-year-old man accused of slamming a small dog against the floor before shooting and killing the dog will serve prison time, authorities said.
LePaul Wuornos Gardner will spend five years in state prison after accepting an agreement with the District Attorney’s office on April 26, according to a press release from the Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC).
“Animal cruelty is taken very seriously and will not be tolerated,” said DACC Director Marcia Mayeda. “Fortunately, our officers prepared an excellent case— complete with a thorough investigation and solid evidence—for the District Attorney’s office to review, which aided in determining the charges.”
Last month, Gardner repeatedly brutalized and then murdered a 7-year-old Bichon Frise at the home he shared with the dog’s owner in the 43700 block of Rembrandt Street in the Lancaster, according to DACC spokeswoman Evelina Villa.
In a press release issued Wednesday, Villa stated:
“On April 14, officers from the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) responded to a call from a dog owner claiming her dog had been shot. When officers arrived on scene, it was revealed that the defendant, who lived with the dog owner, started brutalizing the dog earlier in the week by continuously slamming the small white dog against the floor. Moments prior to the shooting, the defendant tossed the dog to the ground one final time, pointed a gun at the dog owner, and then turned the gun towards the dog and shot the senior Bichon Frisé in the chest.”
Gardner was originally charged with assault with a firearm and felony cruelty to an animal, according to court records. On April 26, Gardner pleaded no contest to assault with a firearm in exchange for the dismissal of the felony cruelty to an animal charge, according to Jane Robison of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
If you suspect animal cruelty in your neighborhood, contact DACC’s Communication Center at 661-940-4191. The Communication Center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.