As the prosecution tells it, Michael Tessmer, of Oconomowoc, Wis., came home with his two kids in February 2009 and found that their 3-year-old labradoodle had urinated and defecated on the floor. Instead of feeling bad that the dog couldn’t get outside when she needed to go, he kicked her — 10 times — in front of his then 11-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter. The dog died.
It wasn’t until the boy wrote “My dad is a killer,” for an after-school program assignment that the authorities investigated. The defense for Tessmer, now 54, says it was not his intention to kill the dog, and that the dog could actually have died from rat poisoning, which also causes hemorraging. (What a coincidence that would have been!)
The defense also claimed that the boy did not really suffer mental harm from seeing his dog kicked to death. But the prosecution says the boy could not sleep at night for months after the incident, and had nightmares about it when he did sleep. (And what about the girl? I can find nothing of her in any stories.)
According to WHLB Radio, A jury on Monday found Tessmer guilty of both killing the animal and causing mental harm to a child. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 9. He faces up to nine years in prison. (Sounds like he has a different set of people looking into his future than the man who threw his neighbor’s dog onto a busy highway near Chicago and got off with a $100 fine…) I’ll keep you posted.