Prosecutors Connect the Dots in WI Cruelty Case

Wisconsin:  In February 2009, a 3 year old Labradoodle called Zorro pottied in the house.  The owner, Michael Tessmer, kicked the dog in anger.  And kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked and kicked the dog.  While his two children watched.  Zorro died the next day from “massive bleeding caused by blunt-force trauma”.

One of the children, an 11 year old boy, wrote “My Dad is a killer.” on a piece of paper at school.  The authorities were alerted and Mr. Tessmer was charged with “causing mental harm to a child and mistreatment of animals, causing death” – both felonies.  At trial, the DA told the jury the boy suffered from anxiety and depression after witnessing Zorro’s brutal beating and had nightmares and flashbacks about the incident.  The child was unable to sleep alone for months afterward.

The defense attorney argued that Zorro probably ate rat poison, which caused his death and that the kid seemed to be doing well in school so what’s the big whoop?

The jury found Mr. Tessmer guilty on both counts this week and he is scheduled for sentencing May 9:

The mental harm charge carries a 7 1/2 -year prison term; the mistreatment of animals, a 1 1/2 -year term.

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9 Comments

  1. OhthankdoGsomegoodnews.

    I think we all needed it this week… although it’s a bit sad that the best news I heard today involved a prison sentence. :OP

    That’s it, I’m turning off CNN for the night.

    Reply
  2. The defense attorney seems to be a moron. Rat poison does not cause “blunt force trauma”. I hope this guy gets the full term.

    Reply
  3. db

     /  March 24, 2011

    A bit of justice for the poor dog and a lifetime of trauma for the children. Sometimes an eye for an eye would feel so good . . .

    Reply
  4. This couldn’t have been the first time this man used violence when angry. Wish someone would have seen he needed anger management before all this damage to his children and death to his dog.

    And what is equally sad is the fact that most people come out of jail even worst than when they went in. Jail time is not really making this world a safer place.

    Reply
  5. mikken

     /  March 24, 2011

    I can only hope that he loses that temper in prison…with someone bigger than he is.

    You can be certain that people around town know this guy as “angry” or “volatile”. I hope the kids have a better life from now on.

    Reply
  6. Erica

     /  March 24, 2011

    For this man to behave this way IN FRONT OF his kids…tells me that he probably has done it more than just this once. In fact, I bet the kids have had their fair share of “blunt force trauma” from their father. Where is Mom in all this? Did she just stand back and not do ANYTHING?

    While I AM glad that he will be doing some time for his crime…it saddens me that he could ONLY get the max of up to 1 1/2 years for KILLING a dog. While it is beyond upsetting that the kids watched what happened….if not for that then he wouldn’t be facing 7 1/2 extra years for the mental harm that was caused to the children.

    If there is ANY justice in this world his bunkmate will be an animal lover and much BIGGER than he…..

    Reply
  7. Interesting (but unsurprising) disparity in sentence lengths.

    Reply
  8. Morgana

     /  March 25, 2011

    You know, when I read stories like this, I myself get anxiety attacks, weep copiously, and have psych damage. I am not kidding. One like this, a year or so ago made me hurt so much, I did a week’s penance fast for being part of such a violent species.

    Maybe I can sue the guy too.

    Reply
  9. pitbull friend

     /  March 25, 2011

    Again I am SO grateful to all of the people who worked so hard to get felony animal cruelty laws passed. Although I can wish he were up for more than 1 1/2 years on that count, that’s a heck of a lot more than such crimes were carrying just a few years ago. I hope his poor children have someone good and decent in their lives to help them overcome this.

    Reply

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