CORUNNA — A Laingsburg man was sentenced to one year in jail Thursday morning in 35th Circuit Court by Judge Matthew Stewart for stabbing a dog with a putty knife after it ate his Subway sandwich and throwing the animal through a wall.
Wesley Martin, 34, was also ordered to pay court costs and fines, and $141.57 in restitution. He was credited with one day served.
“The dog could not have stabbed itself,” Stewart said before sentencing, noting Martin was extremely intoxicated at the time of the stabbing, and had denied the assault when questioned by police.
The dog made a full recovery and is doing well, according to Shiawassee County Prosecutor Scott Koerner.
“Alcoholism isn’t a license to stab an innocent animal twice with a putty knife,” Koerner said during Thursday’s hearing. “I don’t think that’s justified … This person is violent.”
“Well, the animal wasn’t innocent,” Stewart said sarcastically. “It ate his Subway sandwich.”
Martin was charged with felony torturing/killing an animal and misdemeanor malicious destruction of a building ($200-$1,000) Sept. 15, 2020, for an incident that occurred in August 2020.
Martin was arraigned in 66th District Court before Judge Terrance Dignan Sept. 17, 2020; he pleaded not guilty. Court records do not indicate the amount of bond, but Martin had been free prior to Thursday’s sentencing.
Defense attorney Steven Ellis blamed the incident on Martin’s history of alcohol abuse, and said he had consumed numerous “Natty Daddy” beers, an alcoholic beverage, prior to the stabbing. He added that Martin has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous, and asked for a sentence that included probation and treatment.
“You drink a few of those in an hour and you’re gone,” Ellis said of the drink that has 8 percent alcohol by volume. “That’s what happened in this situation. He doesn’t remember the attack.”
In a short statement, Martin blamed the incident on alcohol, and said that if he were sober at the time of the offense, he “wouldn’t do that in a million years,” and apologized.
A habitual offender-third notice enhancement and the MDOP charge were dismissed as the result of a plea agreement with prosecutors, under which Martin pleaded no contest. The torturing/killing an animal was also reduced to an attempted, third-degree status.
Stewart noted Martin has numerous prior alcohol-related misdemeanor convictions dating back to at least 2007, including domestic violence, drunken driving and attempted child abuse. He was also convicted in 2012 of felony home invasion (third degree). Without the plea agreement in place, Martin could have faced up to four years in prison, due to his status as a habitual offender.