A South Florida man who pleaded guilty Wednesday to beating and killing his pet dog last year and dumping its body in the parking garage of a Miami Beach Publix will be spending nearly nine months behind bars.
Sigman Hernandez, 41, will serve 270 days in jail, followed by two years of house arrest, one year of probation and 25 hours of community service for killing his small Yorkie Suzie.
Hernandez, who had been charged with animal cruelty with intent to injure or kill, agreed to a plea deal at a hearing Wednesday. The courtroom was packed with animal rights activists and advocates who have been following the case since Hernandez’ arrest.
"Justice is being served against an animal abuser, it sends a strong message to the community that abuse will not be tolerated," animal advocate Ana Campos said.
Police said the pup was found by an employee on the second level of the parking garage at 1920 West Avenue on April 7, 2017. The dog had nine broken broken ribs and a swollen neck, showing she was strangled, and a bulging belly from being kicked.
"It's an unfortunate incident that he’s very remorseful about and I’m glad and hopefully at this point he can get some closure," defense attorney Gregory Iammuno said after the hearing.
Part of the plea agreement includes paying back over $1,400 to the animal rescue that took care of the dog’s medical bills before she died. Hernandez is also prohibited from owning any pets during the 3-year period he’ll be under the court’s supervision.
"It’s a great advancement towards what’s necessary in animal cruelty cases," Chief Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hogue said.