A man who videotaped himself torturing and then fatally shooting his girlfriend's dog has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.
According to Star News, Anthony Sather, 24, struck a plea deal with prosecutors before entering guilty pleas to counts of animal cruelty and drug possession in Sherburne County District Court Thursday.
The Princeton man had been accused of killing Draco, his girlfriend's siberian husky mix, in December.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of fifth-degree controlled substance possession, after marijuana and 300 prescription pills were found by police, WCCO reports. Two other drug possession charges were dropped as per the plea deal.
The Associated Press reports the charges brought against Sather were mainly based on three videos his girlfriend found on his computer that showed the assault.
Justice for Draco
Draco's death prompted a huge outcry, with activists launching a "Justice for Draco" campaign that saw more than 120,000 sign an online petition.
The Star News reports a crowd of protesters gathered outside the court holding signs that read "Justice for Draco," "his pain, our voice," "animal abuse = owner abuse," and "no excuse for animal abuse."
Sather will be sentenced on August 17, but the terms of the plea deal state he faces a possible sentence of up to two years in the likelihood he will serve one year, and be on probation for four years, the newspaper reports.
But According to KARE 11, because of time served, this could mean Sather is out of jail by December, though the judge can go above the state guidelines because of aggravating factors in the assault.
Before the plea deal, he faced up to 10 years in prison, and protesters outside the courthouse weren't happy with these terms.
"Three months for the life of that dog, and what that dog experienced, is a slap in the face," activist Michelle Schumack told the TV station.
A commenter on the Justice for Draco Facebook page said: "One year in jail is not acceptable for the torture of any living creature (human or nonhuman). This only illustrates the deeper issue which is that our society views nonhuman life as less valuable and sees animals as property that we own and can treat in anyway we want."