Cobb County man killed dog in jealous rage, prosecutor says


An Acworth man who killed a 12-pound dog was enraged over the attention his girlfriend was giving the animal, a Cobb County prosecutor said Thursday.

One time, Sidney Walker Taylor slammed the Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix named Lilly to the ground, knocking out three of her teeth. A week later, he beat Lilly so severely that she died of multi-organ hemorrhage, a necropsy determined.

Now, Taylor, 23, is headed to prison after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. As part of a plea deal, he received a 10-year sentence, including three years in prison, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office said. Taylor is the second dog killer in seven weeks to get prison time in Cobb, where the DA’s office has vowed to fight for the animal victims.

“Our office is putting more time on these cases, and we’re investigating them,” Sherwin Figueroa, assistant district attorney, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We just want to let the public know we’re taking this seriously.”

Figueroa is one of two Cobb prosecutors who focuses on animal rights cases. She has also assisted legislators in making changes to animal cruelty statutes. In Georgia, those convicted a second time of felony animal cruelty face up to 10 years in prison per charge, instead of five years for a first offense, Figueroa said. Since June, Cobb police Det. S. Hammond has been assigned solely to animal-cruelty cases.

Georgia falls in the middle among the states for laws for protecting animals, according to the Animal League Defense Fund. Thirty-six states in the fund’s rankings were tougher on animal abusers in 2015, but Georgia has stiffened the penalties and climbed in the rankings from the previous year.

“Scientific research clearly shows that people who commit animal cruelty often advance to injuring intimate partners, children and the elderly,” Figueroa said. “That is why we put these defendants in prison and monitor them closely once on probation.”

In February, a Kennesaw man was sentenced to five years in prison for throwing his girlfriend’s dog over a balcony and killing it. Lee Bishop Bullock, 28, of Kennesaw, was already on felony probation when he threw the 10-pound dog off the second-floor balcony, the DA’s office previously said.

In the more recent case, Taylor’s girlfriend had temporarily taken in her sister’s dog after the sister had a baby, Figueroa said. Taylor, who had been in the military, lost his job, and his girlfriend was expecting the couple’s first child, the prosecutor said. Investigators believe Taylor became jealous of the girlfriend’s affection for Lilly and claimed to have hurt the dog because she urinated on the floor. Figueroa alleged that Taylor had previously killed three cats, though he was never charged in those cases.

If the case had gone to trial, Taylor could have been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, his attorney, Jay Abt, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was sentenced as a first offender, meaning his criminal record will be cleared when his sentence is completed.

Taylor also must pay a $1,000 fine. He was taken into custody Tuesday in the courtroom and booked into the Cobb jail.



Next Up in Local

How to early vote for midterm elections in Gwinnett County
How to early vote for midterm elections in Gwinnett County

You don’t need to wait until Nov. 6 to cast your ballot for Georgia governor or any of the other offices up for election in the 2018 midterms. Gwinnett County offers multiple early voting locations starting Oct. 15. The main location for early voting is the Gwinnett County Board of Voter Registrations and Elections Office at 455 Grayson Highway...
There’s a world-class air show coming to North Georgia soon
There’s a world-class air show coming to North Georgia soon

Barrel rolls, nose dives and all manners of heart-stopping stunts will occur in the skies over Rome in mid-October. The seventh Wings Over North Georgia Air Show will showcase all kinds of acrobatic aeronautical operators at the Russell Regional Airport on October 13 and 14. Organizers said more than 80,000 people attended between the two days...
Looking for a new profile pic? Six Flags is having a color run Sunday
Looking for a new profile pic? Six Flags is having a color run Sunday

Maybe you missed out on a summer of new profile pictures because you weren’t running enough. (On an unrelated note, you can read about people projecting in this psychology paper.) If you did miss out on those beach pics, the also-not-bitter Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a solution. Six Flags Over Georgia is hosting a Color Run on Sunday...
‘Project Rocket’ gets final Gwinnett approval — but questions remain
‘Project Rocket’ gets final Gwinnett approval — but questions remain

Gwinnett County has granted “Project Rocket” permission for takeoff. But plenty of questions — and a potential complication in neighboring DeKalb — remain. The Gwinnett Board of Commissioners provided final approval Tuesday afternoon of the special use permit necessary for the code-named project — a massive,...
DeKalb man assaulted driver after three hijackings, cops say 
DeKalb man assaulted driver after three hijackings, cops say 

In two days, Azoumana Diarra managed to steal three cars, assault one of the drivers and bring a minor along for the crimes, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office said.  Roughly three weeks later, authorities arrested Diarra after he ran from them outside a Stone Mountain business Monday.  RELATED:  Man fatally stabbed cousin, then...
More Stories