The Washington Post

D.C. man gets four months for killing sleeping puppy

A District man was sentenced Tuesday to 120 days in jail — 30 days longer than prosecutors had requested — for dropping a concrete slab on the head of a sleeping puppy.

Sean Delontay Branch, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of felony cruelty to animals in September in connection with the killing of the 6-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 concrete 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 mistakenly believed that the man had stolen money and cigarettes from him the night before.

Burnett told the judge that 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 as 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 thought that 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.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Play Videos
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
The rise and fall of baseball cards
How to keep your child safe in the water
Play Videos
'Did you fall from heaven?': D.C.'s pick-up lines
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
How to get organized for back to school
How to buy a car via e-mail
The signature drink of New Orleans

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.