Saratoga Springs man sentenced for beating dog to death with hammer

December 06, 2018 05:55 PM

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Aaron Brinkley brutalized his 29-pound Boston Terrier named, Riko.

According to Judge Jim Murphy, Brinkley came home to his apartment from drinking and let Riko out of his cage.

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At sentencing Thursday, the judge said Brinkley kicked the dog when he let it out, and the dog bit Brinkley's thumb, so he retaliated.

"The defendant beat his 29-pound dog with a hammer, over and over again," said Assistant District Attorney Katherine DeMartino.

Prosecutors say Brinkley knocked the dog's teeth out and pulverized its liver and spleen, before throwing the animal on the balcony to die.

Brinkley's attorney, James Tyner, argued Thursday that the dog bit Brinkley's thumb off.

"Mr. Brinkley's actions were not only necessary, they were entirely justified under the circumstances," said Tyner. "A dog bit his thumb off."

The jury found the 31-year-old Brinkley guilty in September of aggravated cruelty to animals, which is also known as Buster's Law.

It wasn't possible Thursday to discern a noticeable injury to Brinkley's hand.

DeMartino asked for the maximum, saying Brinkley "showed no empathy or remorse for his crime."

The defense wanted no jail time and asked the judge to impose a sentence of five years probation.

When given the opportunity to speak, Brinkley said nothing. His attorney said they plan to appeal.

Judge Murphy got the last word and sentenced Aaron Brinkley to the maximum, two years in county jail, saying, "The defendant's conduct was sadistic, reprehensible and a complete and utter disregard for the life of the dog."

Murphy also barred Brinkley from owning a pet for 50 years.


Mark Mulholland

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