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A howl for justice has just been answered.
Although a plea deal had already been hammered out between prosecutors and attorneys for alleged dog-thrower Fabian Henderson, a judge decided to shoot down the established agreement after he learned that Henderson’s victim – Oreo the dog – had been put to sleep.
According to the New York Post, Justice Cassandra Mullen decided not to authorize the plea deal on Tuesday after being told of the death of Oreo, a doe-eyed pit bull mix that Henderson, 19, allegedly threw off his six-story building this summer. The dog had to be put to sleep because of the “unpredictable aggression” she showed after recovering from the nearly fatal fall.
If she had rubber-stamped the agreement, Henderson would have received five years probation after pleading guilty to animal cruelty.
Mullen was also upset that Fabian showed up late to his court appearance, the Post noted.
Horrified witnesses said that Henderson first beat the dog in his apartment on West 9th Street in the Red Hook Houses for about a half hour before bringing Oreo up to the roof to finish the job.
Oreo survived the fall, thanks mostly to some precipitously placed air conditioners that she bounced off of as she plummeted to the ground.
ASPCA officials said that when they were called in to help Oreo, the dog’s legs had been shattered by the fall. She was also bleeding internally.
But while Oreo’s body healed at Bergh Memorial Animal Hospital in Manhattan, doctors ended up becoming more concerned over her emotional state.
“Oreo began to recuperate from her injuries, only to begin showing signs of extreme aggression — with little provocation or warning,” according to an ASPCA statement. “The dog was not able to be placed in a home.”
ASPCA officials said that despite the best rehabilitation efforts, Oreo would continue to “lunge, growl, snap and attempt to bite.”
Oreo would often lunge at her own behaviorist, only to redirect her aggression toward her handler, officials said.
The situation was so bad that ASPCA officials would not let Oreo socialize with other dogs for fear that she would attack them. Employees were even directed to refrain from making sustained eye contact with her “as to not incite aggression.”
Oreo had to be put in isolation in the days leading to her death, ASPCA officials noted.
Kings county prosecutors shrugged off Judge Mullen’s decision, telling this paper that they are already prepared to go to trial.
Feni Desu, Henderson’s attorney, did not return calls from reporters as this paper went to press.
Both parties are expected to be back in court on December 15.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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