SAN BRUNO (CBS SF) – A San Mateo County Superior Court jury has convicted a man and woman of felony animal cruelty by neglect for the death of their dog after it suffered severe burns in San Bruno in 2016, prosecutors said Monday.
Paul Souter, 29, was taking care of “Sprocket,” a 2-year-old Maltipoo dog owned by his girlfriend Shelby Lujan, 25, who came home from school on April 19, 2016, to be told by Souter that he had accidentally spilled hot water from a cup of tea onto the dog, according to the district attorney’s office.READ MORE: Smash-And-Grab Thieves Hit San Jose Eastridge Mall Jewelry Store; 5 Sought
Neither Souter nor Lujan sought emergency care for the dog until two weeks later, when Lujan brought it to a veterinary clinic where it was found to have third-degree burns on 40 percent of its body. The burns were infected and the dog was in shock, and died within hours, prosecutors said.READ MORE: COVID Omicron Variant Detected In Los Angeles, New York, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado
A forensic examiner concluded Sprocket couldn’t have suffered the injuries from spilled water and that they had to be intentionally inflicted. Souter was also charged with intentional infliction of animal cruelty, but the jury deadlocked on that charge Friday after convicting him and Lujan of the neglect charge.
Souter and Lujan remain out of custody on bail and will return to court on Jan. 29 for sentencing. Their defense attorneys were not immediately available to comment on the case.MORE NEWS: Investigation Finds Vallejo Officer's Use of Deadly Force Not 'Reasonable'
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