The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Animal Cruelty Case: Glynn Johnson Gets 90 Days in Jail

Glynn Johnson, a former Los Angeles County assistant fire chief, is hated by many animal lovers in the Riverside community because of his criminal case. His criminal case involves beating a puppy. The Los Angeles Times reports that the man was recently sentenced to 90 weekend days in jail and three years' probation for felony animal cruelty charges. The court also ordered Mr. Johnson to do 400 hours of community service with dogs and take anger management classes.

Prosecutors said that Mr. Johnson killed a 6-month-old Shepherd mix by beating the dog with a 12-pound rock. It was reported that the dog belonged to his neighbors and that he was upset with the pet's noise and neighborhood disturbance. The case has gotten the attention of many animal rights activists in the community. Protesters had rallied in front of the district attorney's office to prosecute Mr. Johnson in the weeks that led up to his arrest.

Some community members are saying that Mr. Johnson got off easy with a "slap on the wrist" for the crime because the man faced a maximum 4-year prison sentence for felony animal cruelty. Yet Mr. Johnson's Los Angeles criminal defense attorney John Sweeney said that even 90 days in jail was a bit extreme, and that his sentence should have been just straight probation.

The Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer argued that his client's actions were simply for self-defense and that the dog had bit his hand before the beating even began. But one witness said that this was untrue and that Mr. Johnson's excessive punching and pulling on the jaws was very extreme.

Even the Riverside Judge J. Thompson Hanks was surprised by the community's reaction to the animal cruelty case.  At the sentencing he said, "You don't see this kind of outpouring from the community in many cases, including the death of children."

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