Cruelty charged in dog’s death

EVERETT — Jonah Brown allegedly comforted his girlfriend when he broke the news that her beloved Cockapoo, Romeo, had died in his sleep while she was at work.

Brown later reportedly admitted to her that he killed the dog. Then he told police he struck the 14-pound dog in self-defense.

Prosecutors on Tuesday charged Brown with first-degree animal cruelty, a felony. A necropsy showed that Romeo had broken ribs and internal bleeding. His aorta had been ripped from his heart.

Brown is accused of attacking the dog during Christmas dinner because he said the pooch was begging for food.

A couple and their young daughter were visiting and playing with the dog until dinner. Brown, 33, reportedly became infuriated because he thought Romeo was begging at the table. His guests assured their host that the dog wasn’t bothering them, court papers said.

Brown allegedly grabbed the dog by the scruff and threw him toward his kennel. He said the dog had bitten him.

The dog ran from Brown, who allegedly caught him by the tail and carried him, upside down, to the kitchen. Brown reportedly punched Romeo and then threw him into a wall. The dog slid down into a garbage can, where he sat, dazed, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Janice Albert wrote.

The couple left, concerned for their child. The man later returned to make sure Romeo was OK.

The Cockapoo was dead and Brown allegedly told the man he had killed Romeo, Albert wrote.

Brown told his girlfriend the next day that he’d thrown the dog against a wall, court papers said.

He later spoke with police, claiming he was defending himself against the animal. In charging papers, prosecutors make a note that Brown outweighed the 10-year-old dog by 180 pounds.

Brown is scheduled to be in court on Valentine’s Day to answer to the charge.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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