Police: Arizona man arrested in sledgehammer killing of neighbor - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Police: Arizona man arrested in sledgehammer killing of neighbor's injured dog

Posted: Updated:
Beau the pit bull. (Photo: Jessie Garcia via 12News) Beau the pit bull. (Photo: Jessie Garcia via 12News)
Ivan Lawrence booking photo. (Photo: MCSO via 12 News) Ivan Lawrence booking photo. (Photo: MCSO via 12 News)

PHOENIX - Jessie Garcia was out with his family last Sunday when they pulled into the driveway and saw several people standing around their dog. Their beloved pit bull, Beau, was lying on the front porch with blood all around.

“There was blood around her head and her side was mostly skin and flesh,” said Garcia.

Just a few minutes earlier, Beau was hit by two cars trying to cross the road. The dog was able to make it to the front porch before collapsing.

What Garcia would soon find out is that his neighbor, Ivan Lawrence, took a sledgehammer and hit Beau in the back of the head two times after she was run over by the cars.

“That was not his choice," Garcia said. "It’s not his dog."

According to Garcia, another neighbor wanted to take Beau to a nearby veterinarian but Lawrence decided the dog was in extreme pain so he killed her.

Police officers responded to the scene, questioning witnesses and Lawrence.

“We take a look at the fact and the circumstances," Phoenix police Sgt. Vince Lewis said. "Given the totality of those facts and circumstances we then compare it to the law."

Responding officers decided to write a report but determined no law was broken.

“I was kind of confused,” said Garcia.

12 News decided to verify the decision officers made by looking into the law. We first pulled state statute ARS 13-2910, which covers cruelty to animals. A person commits cruelty to animals if the person does any of the following: (5) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly kills any animal under the custody or control of another person without either legal privilege or consent of the owner.

Phoenix police told 12 News a decision was made to re-examine the case. Animal cruelty detectives re-interviewed Garcia, witnesses and Lawrence.

 “Once experts took a second look they determined there was probable cause to arrest the suspect,” said Sgt. Lewis.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Ivan Lawrence was arrested on charges of cruelty to an animal.

“I was relieved,” said Garcia.

The bottom line: If you kill an animal that is not yours, you can be charged with a crime.

Interactive Radar
Powered by Frankly

© KVOA.com 2018, KVOA.com
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?