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Apr 12, 2019 2:18 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Man Pleads Guilty To Killing His Aunt And Uncle's Dog In Springs

Jose Galvez-Garcia at East Hampton Town Justice Court on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. PRESS FILE
Apr 16, 2019 1:47 PM

Jose J. Galvez-Garcia, 22, of Springs pleaded guilty on Friday in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverside to a felony animal cruelty charge filed after he killed his aunt’s dog on December 2, 2018.

Suffolk County Criminal Court Judge Mark D. Cohen told Mr. Galvez-Garcia that he could face a maximum of two years in prison.

“I’m not making any promises at all to you about what the sentence will be,” Judge Cohen explained to Mr. Galvez-Garcia, who had his hands cuffed behind his back as a Spanish interpreter translated. “Your attorney has provided me with certain material which he claims should lessen the amount of the sentence, but I’m making no promise whatsoever.”

Outside the courtroom, Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s lawyer, Stephen Grossman, would not reveal the documents that he had shared with the court, but said they pertained to Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s mental state.

On the morning of December 3, one of the dog’s owners discovered its badly mutilated body in a wooded area near the end of Breeze Hill Road in Springs, and East Hampton Town Police arrested Mr. Galvez-Garcia that afternoon. The owners, Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s aunt and uncle, had been searching for the missing dog since the prior night.

Police said Mr. Galvez-Garcia told officers he killed the dog, a 4-year-old Cockapoo named Simba, because he was upset with his aunt. The dog had multiple stab wounds to its neck and torso, and its neck had been snapped, police had said at the time he was arrested.

“This individual, without any cause or reason, killed an innocent, defenseless animal,” District Attorney Timothy Sini said through a statement on Friday. “This kind of cruelty is inexcusable and will not be tolerated by my office.”

Judge Cohen explained that because Mr. Galvez-Garcia is not a citizen of the United States—he is a green card holder, originally from El Salvador—pleading guilty to a felony charge could have an impact on his immigration status and result in deportation and exclusion from the United States.

Bail had been set at $25,000 cash or $50,000 bond by East Hampton Town Justice Lisa Rana on December 4 at Mr. Galvez-Garcia’s initial arraignment. After failing to post bail, he was taken to the Suffolk County Jail, where he has been since.

He will return to court on May 14 for sentencing.

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