Circuit Attorney News & Updates

Man sentenced for animal abuse
August 07, 2014

His actions led to the death of two dogs. Now, he’s learned his sentence.


Jerome Barringer pleaded guilty to animal abuse after allowing the dogs to suffer from extreme neglect and starvation.


The two pit bulls were discovered when St. Louis firefighters responded to a house fire in the 4300 block of Dardenne back in January of 2013. Investigators with the Humane Society of Missouri arrived on the scene and located one male pit bull, later learned to be named Champ, dead under a deck. Another female pit bull, named Honey, was also found.


Veterinarians say Champ likely died a slow, painful death from starvation and other health issues. Honey had also sustained so much damage to her body from malnutrition and heartworms that she had to be euthanized.


“The defendant failed to provide adequate food, water and shelter for two dogs that he owned, and as a direct result of his actions, both dogs died,” wrote Assistant Circuit Attorney Veronica Harwin in court documents. “The suffering and death of these two dogs was completely avoidable,” ACA Harwin wrote.


By definition of animal abuse under the law, the actions of the defendant were misdemeanors. In the state of Missouri, animal abuse rises to a felony only after a prior animal abuse conviction or if the defendant mutilated or tortured the animal while alive.


Thursday, Judge Michael Noble sentenced Barringer to the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor on the first count of animal abuse: one year in jail. On the second count, Judge Noble sentenced Barringer to probation for two more years. He is prohibited from owning pets during that time, will have to pay $500 to the Humane Society and complete 100 hours of community service.


Representatives from the Humane Society were in court to express their concern about these types of crimes, not just for animals, but for the community at large.


“We are very pleased Judge Noble agrees that animal abusers should be punished for causing defenseless animals such pain and suffering,” said Kathy Warnick, president of the Humane Society of Missouri. “Hopefully, this sends a strong message that harming animals will not be tolerated in the St. Louis community.”


Barringer had previously been convicted of nine other crimes.


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