Updated: Holly Boyd Pleads Guilty to Killing Chihuahua
Boyd, of Fridley, will face up to 90 days for felony animal cruelty.
Holly Boyd of Fridley pled guilty Tuesday afternoon to one felony count of animal cruelty for killing a Chihuahua puppy she had bought as a pet only hours before.
A tearful Boyd admitted to causing the dog's death by throwing it at a piece of furniture in her Fridley apartment on March 24, 2011, during a hearing in Anoka County District Court.
Under a plea agreement that Boyd signed and Judge Donald J. Venne accepted, Boyd will receive a maximum of 90 days when Venne sentences her on Nov. 29, 2011, at 11 a.m.
In the meantime, Boyd must fulfill several conditions, including a psychological assessment and a pre-sentencing interview, or the 90-day cap on her possible sentence will be lifted. She must also remain law-abiding and show up for her sentencing.
The prosecution will also ask for three years' probation, Assistant County Attorney Kurt Deile said.
The hearing just after noon Tuesday was much quieter than Boyd's last appearance April 21, when protestors packed another Anoka County courtroom urging a maximum penalty.
At a Facebook page devoted to that cause, protestors said they submitted a petition with more than 3,000 signatures, but no mention of a petition was made in court.
Boyd became emotional as she stood before Venne, at first dabbing at her eyes with a tissue as she entered her guilty plea.
By the time Venne asked, "You do not claim these actions were in any way justified?" Boyd was sobbing:
"No. No. No. Your honor."
Mental Health Issues
That was despite testimony about a number of psychological problems, according to Deile and Boyd's public defender, Brad Zunker, and affirmed by Boyd—mental health troubles stemming from a 2006 car accident in which she "lost" her children.
(It wasn't clear whether that meant her children died or she lost custody of them. Diele said in an interview later that he didn't know. Updated: Boyd said in an interview before her sentencing Nov. 29 that children of hers had indeed died in the crash.)
Boyd is currently receiving mental-health treatment and is now on medication but was "not at that time," she told the court, referring to last March.
The story behind the single charge of cruelty to animals got an airing during a series of questions from Zunker.
Fridley Police were called to her apartment on March 24 on a report of a dead dog. Earlier in the day, Boyd had come home to find her live-in boyfriend was cheating on her. He left her in the care of three dogs, including a Chihuahua puppy she had bought only four hours before for $150.
"Is it fair to say you were out-your-mind angry?" Zunker asked.
"Yes," Boyd said.
In reaction to the situation, Zunker asked, "you picked up the Chihuahua?"
"Yes," Boyd said.
"You flung him at a dresser?"
Boyd corrected the type of furniture.
"(A) hutch, yes," she said, tearfully.
"And as a result of what you did that dog died?"
"True," Boyd answered. "It was my dog. ... I only had him for four hours."
Answered if she bought the puppy as a pet, she answered in the affirmative.
"For me," she said.