Anthony Sather, who videotaped himself smiling as he battered and then killed his girlfriend's dog, could spend the rest of the year behind bars.
On Monday, a Sherburne County district court judge sentenced Sather to 365 days in prison Monday on a felony charge of animal cruelty, and handed him lengthy probation sentences for additional drug and firearms violations. Sather, 25, pleaded guilty to the cruelty and drug charges in June.
He has been imprisoned since January, after his girlfriend found footage on his computer of his violent attack on her Shiba Inu-Husky mix, Draco.
"It's vicious and vile," said Judge Thomas Hayes, according to KARE 11's coverage of Monday's sentencing. "And perhaps most disturbing is the pleasure [Sather] seemed to get from it."
The video showed Sather licking his lips and grinning for the camera as he hit, kicked and slammed the 22-pound dog into the concrete floor of their garage, before finally pulling a gun. Draco's owner later found his body, shot, in a roadside ditch.
Hayes sentenced Sather to the Sherburne County Jail for a year -- a sentence that will include the 225 days he has already served -- and four years' probation for felony animal cruelty; ten years' probation on a drug charge and four years' probation on a charge of reckless handling of a firearm.
The sentence outraged the animal rights activists who have rallied at the court every time Sather put in an appearance. With good behavior, the activists say , Sather could be out on probation as early as next month.
"Justice was NOT Served," read a post on the Justice for Draco page, which included a detailed description of the sentencing -- including a "very heartfelt, disturbing and difficult victim impact statement written by Draco’s Mom" that was read to the court.
Sather's freedom would hinge on his ability to follow the lengthy list of restrictions imposed by the court: No pets of his own; no living in a home where there are animals; no contact with his ex-girlfriend or her family and he must stay at least a mile away from her home; no firearms; no use or possession of video recording equipment; no drugs or alcohol; Sather must pay $382.33 in restitution; and he must undergo psychological and substance abuse counseling. His probation will be monitored by the court, by counselors and by animal control officers.