by Laura Misjak
A former Michigan State University medical student offered few details as he explained himself after pleading guilty to killing 11 Italian greyhounds in 2010.
“I got upset. I hit the dog and it died, and it happened nine times,” said Andrew David Thompson, 24, to Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Paula Manderfield during a plea hearing Monday morning in her Lansing court.
Thompson pleaded guilty to three charges of killing a dog contrary to law. Two of the charges were for killing two different dogs while he lived on M.A.C. Avenue in East Lansing between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30, 2010. The third charge was for killing nine dogs when he lived in Meridian Township between October 2010 and June 2011.
Thompson faces a maximum four-year prison sentence, with fines of $5,000 for each dog killed, said Ingham County Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Cruz. Manderfield will sentence Thompson on June 13.
Thompson gave the same reasoning for pleading guilty to the first two charges of killing dogs while in East Lansing. Those two were named Kensington No. 1 and Lauren.
“I was also upset. I hit the animal and it died,” Thompson said.
His attorney, Stacia Buchanan, declined to comment following the plea in Ingham County Circuit Court.
Thompson’s trial was scheduled to begin Monday.
Thompson said during the short court hearing that he is now living in Southfield.
Ingham County Animal Control first received an anonymous tip about Thompson in June 2011. That tip indicated he had owned numerous dogs during the previous year and they kept disappearing.
Investigators then found a severely injured puppy in Thompson’s closet several days later.
A student at MSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine, he was suspended that month, a day before charges were first issued against him.
Thompson had bought the dogs in Arizona and had them flown to him, according to court records. Italian greyhounds typically weigh between 7 and 14 pounds.
In an interview with animal control officers, Thompson said he killed the dogs out of frustration or anger because they urinated in his bed, defecated on the floor or they wouldn’t come to him when called.
Thompson said during the interview that he would throw the animals to the ground or against a wall, grab them by the neck or beat them.
He would usually put the dead dogs in garbage bags, along with collars and other items, an animal control officer previously testified.
Thompson was seeing a psychiatrist at the time, according to court records.
Read more: LSJ.com