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Name: People v. Burnett
Case #: H023393
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 07/22/2003
Subsequent History: Rehrg. den. 8/19/03

“Incensed that the driver behind him tapped his car with her bumper, defendant [Burnett], snatched her little white dog Leo out of her car and threw him onto a crowded roadway where he was run over by a minivan and killed.” The evidence that Leo suffered before he died was sufficient to support a conviction for animal cruelty. It was reasonably foreseeable that the dog would be killed by a passing vehicle on a heavily traveled roadway on a rainy night. There was no support in the record for defendant’s claim that he did not testify due to an erroneous ruling that evidence that he had previously killed another dog would be admissible if he testified. Finally, counsel was not ineffective by failing to insist that appellant testify, even though counsel had said in opening argument that defendant had been bitten by the dog, whose tooth had snagged his finger. The court concluded this account was incredible, and thus advising defendant not to testify was reasonable.