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posted: 5/4/2010 12:01 AM

Carol Stream man admits killing puppy

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  • Michael R. Jenkins

      Michael R. Jenkins


A Carol Stream man who killed his family's new puppy was ordered Monday to continue with intensive mental health treatment while serving two years probation for the crime.

Michael R. Jenkins, 28, also was sentenced to serve six months in the DuPage County jail. His release was expected Monday, however, because Jenkins already spent 226 days in custody while awaiting trial.

He pleaded guilty to animal torture, a felony that carries a possible punishment of up to two to five years in prison.

Jenkins did not have a prior criminal record. He suffers from bipolar, anxiety and depression disorders, but was not receiving treatment when the crime occurred.

Prosecutor Joseph Lindt said Jenkins caused fatal injuries to the 13-week-old beagle named "Lexi" after throwing and kicking the pooch Sept. 14 while home alone with her on the 100 block of Goldenhill Street.

It was Jenkins' mother who contacted police. Cathy Jenkins rushed home from work that afternoon after her son called and said he might harm himself, Lindt said. The defendant's mother did not witness the attack on the puppy, which the family brought home just three weeks earlier.

Lexi was dead when police arrived.

Jenkins confessed he became angry with Lexi after she repeatedly went to the bathroom inside the house. He admitted throwing the puppy down a winding flight of stairs. She hit a wall, then fell to the bottom of the steps. Afterward, Jenkins repeatedly kicked Lexi.

"He was immediately cooperative with police," said Tony Coco, a senior DuPage County assistant public defender. "He referred to the dog as an 'innocent victim.'"

Police took the puppy's death seriously. They sent her remains to a veterinarian for a necropsy, after which it was determined Lexi suffered a severe brain injury and had a broken neck and jaw and severed spine.

DuPage Circuit Judge George Bakalis also barred Jenkins from having unsupervised contact with animals. Bakalis ordered Jenkins a special form of probation that requires intense mental health treatment.

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