LETTER: No justice for Donny

York Dispatch

For those who wonder why we have the crime we do in York City and county, this letter should shed some light on it

On May 16, the SPCA sponsored an event to celebrate our canine friends. But we know of one dog that was not celebrating; a Yorkie-Bichon mix, weighing less than 10 pounds, named Donny. Donny missed the event because he was strangled to death by 6-foot, 225-pound William Bury, the boyfriend of Donnie's owner, Lindsey Wilson. Wilson, too, bears the responsibility for this tragic act because she knew that Bury had abused the dog before and yet still left the dog alone in Bury's care.

As outrageous as the crime is, it isn't the most outrageous part of the story. Adding insult to injury, our district attorney requested that Bury be admitted to the ARD program. ARD is a program for first-time, non-violent offenders that means no trial and no jail time. What in God's name is non-violent about choking a helpless, 10 pound dog to death? I just cannot get my brain around how, with malice of forethought, someone can put their hands around the neck of a small dog and squeeze the life right out of them and it is not a crime of violence.

There was still one chance left for Donny to get justice, but Judge Maria Musti Cook denied him that by authorizing Bury's participation in the program. Bury will pay court costs, have 12 months of probation, complete an anger-management course, do 35 hours of community service, and write Wilson an apology letter. And if he successfully completes all requirements, his record will be expunged, and no where will there be any record of his horrendous crime.

As sickened as I was by Donny's story, I wasn't surprised to learn that Bury was going in the ARD program. Several years back, our district attorney's office made the same arrangement for a young man involved in the kidnapping of a pet goat that was eventually thrown to its death off the Holtwood Bridge.

Obviously DA Tom Kearney and Judge Cook have not read any of the studies that have shown that the pattern of cruelty to animals has often been the first step leading to violence against human beings.


East Hopewell Twp.