ASBURY PARK – A 35-year-old man has been arrested for killing one of his girlfriend’s toy poodles as well as abandoning the other dog, officials said.
Nicholas C. Winter of Asbury Park has been charged with third-degree Animal Cruelty Resulting in Death and Abandoning a Domestic Animal, a disorderly persons offense.
On June 4 around 4 a.m., officers of the Asbury Park Police Department discovered the deceased dog at a home on Locust Drive. The dog was a 12-year-old male named “Bentley.”
The victim’s other dog, a 14-year-old female named “Sophia,” was reported missing. It was found in the area several hours later.
According to police, Winter repeatedly texted her threatening the welfare of her dogs while she was at work after the two were involved in an argument early that day.
A necropsy later performed on Bentley determined that the dog had died due to blunt-force trauma.
If convicted on the more serious charge against him, he would face up to five years in state prison.
“We take animal cruelty cases extremely seriously in Monmouth County. Taking the life of a defenseless animal as a means to emotionally traumatize its owner is reprehensible and tragic,” Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey said. “We thank the joint efforts of the Asbury Park Police Department and the SPCA for their work on this case and their compassion for the canine victim in this case.”
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendants have all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.