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Article updated: 10/1/2013 5:30 AM

Glendale Heights man gets 90 days for beating roommate, stabbing bird

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A Glendale Heights man was sentenced Monday to 90 days in jail for fatally stabbing his pet cockatiel, Tootsie, and beating his former roommate in an unprovoked attack.

David Hritz, 40, had been convicted of aggravated animal cruelty and domestic battery at a bench trial in July.

Authorities said Hritz left his 39-year-old former roommate with a broken nose and other injuries after suddenly attacking her in their apartment in August 2012. Afterward, he threw his pet cockatiel, Tootsie, against a wall and then stabbed the bird to death with a folding pocket knife.

"Mr. Hritz's anger got the best of him," DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin said in a statement Monday.

Hritz was sentenced by Judge Robert Kleeman, who convicted him, and must serve at least 45 days before he is eligible for release. Kleeman also ordered Hritz to serve two years of probation, undergo any recommended counseling and refrain from possessing or owning animals.

At trial, Hritz argued he came home to find his roommate beaten by an unknown intruder. He claimed he cut up Tootsie to feed to his pet snakes because the bird was already dead -- a defense the judge rejected as "absurd."

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