Jose Gutierrez

Marcus Rodriques

Richard Golumbski

Lance Arsenault

Choked, burned and beat a dog to death, while videotaping the crime

Kansas City, KS

June 27, 1997

These 4 your men set a 6 pound Yorkshire terrier named "Scruffy" on fire, tried to break the dogs jaws, attempted to decapitate the dog and finally beat the dog to death with a shovel and videotaped themselves in the act on June 27, 1997. They told the police they did this because they were bored. The videotape was six minutes log and the boys made copies of it and distributed them to their friends.

Rodriguez and Arsenault have a history of drug use. Arsenault was on probation for possession of drug paraphernalia when he and the other 3 were charged with murdering Scruffy.

It wasn't until January 6, 1998 that someone, who received the videotape, turned the copy over to the police.

On February 9, 1998 official charges of arson and animal cruelty were brought against the four boys.

15 months later on September 11, 1998 the four were sentenced.
Marcus Rodriquez, 18, got a sentence of 2 years and 3 months in prison for arson and a year in the county jail for animal cruelty. He got a credit for 3 months for time already served and will not have to serve the additional year if he completes a parole program.

Lance Arsenault, 21, was sentenced to one year and 10 months in prison for arson and a year in the county jail for animal cruelty. He too got a credit for 3 months for time already served and will not have to serve the additional year if he completes a parole program.

Richard Golumbski, 20 and Jose Gutierrez, 17, received prison and jail terms but were place on probation for two years and are expected to receive psychiatric treatment.

Update On August 5, 1998:  Lance Arsenault now age 22 was ordered back to jail for six months for violating probation on prior drug possession charges. (The commission of the crimes against Scruffy, a felony and a misdemeanor, and failing to show proof that he had been adhering to the drug testing requirements of his probation.

References:

The Kansas City Star

The Associated Press

The Topeka Capital-Journal

The Humane Society of the United States

ARK Online

Animal Legal Defense Fund

The Montel Williams Show

Hard Copy

The National Organization of Responsible Animal Owners