FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County jury has delivered a guilty verdict for a Long Branch man who locked an 8-month-old pit bull dog in a small wire cage and left that cage in the rising tide of the Sandy Hook Bay in the Highlands, announced Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Aaron D. Davis, 36, of Long Branch, was found guilty for fourth-degree Animal Cruelty following a three-day trial before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Marc C. LeMieux. Davis faces a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and up to 30 days of community service when he returns to the courtroom of Judge LeMieux for sentencing on Feb. 14, 2020.
An investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Division was conducted after a passerby spotted a dog in a crate on a small portion of sand between the bulkhead and the water at approximately 6 a.m. on July 30, 2018. The passerby climbed over the ropes, down the rock barrier and onto the sand to rescue the dog, who was later named ‘River.’ The investigation revealed that Davis took the puppy following a domestic dispute in the early morning hours. Highlands police responded to the domestic incident and captured video footage of the puppy which helped to identify the dog the following day.
“If it were not for the passerby’s actions, the dog would have likely drowned due to the rising tides,” Gramiccioni said.
The case was prosecuted by Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Dalton Clark.
Davis is represented by Adamo Ferriera, Esq., of Hackensack.
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