SALT LAKE CITY – A man was sentenced Monday to six months in jail for putting his wife's puppy in a 200-degree oven, burning the dog and permanently damaging its paws.
Third District Judge William Barrett sent Marc Vincent to jail without any chance of early release. He also must pay a $500 fine and $986 in medical bills for the dog, named Henry.
Vincent, 36, of Murray pleaded guilty Sept. 18 to one count of misdemeanor aggravated animal cruelty. Prosecutors dropped a second count accusing him of turning a leaf blower on Henry.
The maximum penalty was a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Vincent was accused of putting Henry in an oven for five minutes on May 25 during a fight with his wife, who has since filed for divorce.
The black Chihuahua-mix suffered permanent damage to his front paws and now limps. Separately, the dog's eye was removed by a veterinarian after the leaf-blower incident.
Vincent offered a brief statement in court, but it wasn't an apology for anything he was accused of doing.
"The thing that stood out in everyone's mind was that he didn't apologize to his estranged wife — or the dog for that matter," Salt Lake County prosecutor Elizabeth Henry said. "He said he was sorry to his friends, his family and himself for having to go through all this."
Vincent was ordered to serve two years probation after his jail sentence, seek anger-management therapy, have no contact with his wife Rhonda or any animals, and get a mental-health evaluation.
"He deserves all the punishment he got, and Utah needs to put animal cruelty on the books as a felony," Henry said. "We're one of nine states that has only misdemeanor punishment for animal cruelty."
She said Vincent's case could turn into a prime example for Utah legislators who plan to renew a push in January for making animal cruelty a felony.