Norfolk man charged with torturing wife’s dog to death sentenced to 12 months, all suspended

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk man who originally pleaded guilty to a felony animal cruelty charge for torturing his wife’s dog to death had his sentence suspended on Friday.

Richard Schunke, who was a Navy sailor at the time of the crime, was sentenced to 12 months with all time suspended in Norfolk Circuit Court for misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

The sentence on the lesser charge comes a year after Schunke pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty in connection to the death of his wife’s 8-year-old beagle, Layla, in 2017.

Veterinarian records showed Layla died of excessive trauma and had multiple bruises on her body, and Schunke was arrested days later.

However, Schunke wasn’t found guilty by the court in March 2019. As part of his plea agreement, a year of uniform good behavior and the completion of an anger management course would drop the felony charge to a misdemeanor.

The court ruled Schunke now must be on uniform good behavior for two years, or he’ll be convicted of the felony charge.


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