Nicholas Tresness already was in a rage Jan. 25 when Duke, his mother’s Chihuahua, walked up to him in the family home in Tacoma.
It turned out to be a fatal mistake for the 17-year-old dog.
Tresness, upset after an unpleasant telephone call from his girlfriend, kicked the Chihuahua so hard it flew into a wall and died, court records show.
On Friday, a crying Tresness pleaded guilty to second-degree animal cruelty and third-degree malicious mischief for killing Duke and upturning a high chair that day.
“I know he feels badly about what’s happened here,” defense attorney Mark Quigley told Superior Court Judge Jerry Costello. “It was his dog, too.”
Costello then sentenced the 32-year-old man to 90 days in jail. Costello also ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and attend anger-management classes.
Tresness said he was ready to try to address his anger issues.
“I do know I have an anger problem, and I just want to get it fixed,” he told Costello.
Tresness’ mother sent a letter to the court in which she supported her son, who lives with her and other relatives.
“I don’t believe he had any intent to hurt Duke or anyone else,” Stephanie Tremaine wrote. “We need to find out what is wrong and fix it.”
Tremaine wrote that she’s not convinced her son kicked Duke.
“I found him with eyes closed and no visual signs of injury,” she said in her letter. “I believe he could have had a heart attack.”