A District man was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in jail — 30 days longer than prosecutors had requested — for dropping a boulder on the head of a sleeping puppy.
Sean Delontay Branch, 24, had pleaded guilty to one count of felony cruelty to animals in September in connection with the June killing of the six-month-old dog known as “King Tut” behind a Northeast Washington convenience store.
Prosecutors had said that on the morning of June 29, Branch dropped a 90-pound cement slab on the pit bull-Terrier mix as he slept tied to a fence behind the Circle Seven Express store in the 1200 block of Mount Olivet Road NE.
On Tuesday in D.C. Superior Court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalia Medina Burnett said Branch was angry with the dog’s owner because he had mistakenly believed the man had stolen money and cigarettes from him the night before.
Burnett told the judge the dog’s owner, who was not present at the sentencing, had been sleeping in a District homeless shelter but decided to sleep on the street because the shelter did not permit pets.
Before he was sentenced, Branch said he accidentally dropped the slab on the dog’s head when he was moving it. The dog woke and nipped his hand, Branch said, causing him to drop the slab.
“I didn’t drop that brick on the dog on purpose,” Branch said.
But Judge Herbert B. Dixon said he believed it was done intentionally.
“I don’t think you have an appreciation for what that says about a person,” Dixon said of the dog’s killing. Dixon ordered Branch to undergo anger management classes during three years of supervised probation after his release from jail.
This item has been updated.