A Michigan man was sentenced to triple the amount of recommended prison time on Tuesday for brutally stabbing a dog he adopted from a shelter.
Alexander Gerth, 23, was hit with three to six years in prison for killing Sterling, a 2-year-old pit bull mix from the Michigan Humane Society who was found dead in a park in Utica in January after he was stabbed and left to die.
The sentencing guidelines for Gerth, on the charge of killing and torturing an animal, were two to 21 months. But Macomb County Judge Richard Caretti said he could not "in good conscience" abide by that agreement, and subsequently handed Gerth the tougher sentence.
"In my almost 17 years on the bench your case is by far the worst, most deplorable example of animal cruelty I've ever seen," Caretti told Gerth, according to Fox station WJBK. "Words are inadequate to express the depth and breadth of your cruelty."
The judge continued, "Statistics show [famous] killers ... started down their path to infamy by abusing and killing animals. Let's hope my sentence discourages you from such behavior. ... But in your case [with the old animal cruelty sentencing legislation] - it may not be enough."
Around 40 animal lovers in the courtroom burst into applause at the sentence on Tuesday.