For Immediate Release
January 31, 2019
MACOMB PROSECUTOR ERIC SMITH AUTHORIZES CHARGES IN DOG DEATH CASE
MT. CLEMENS, MI – This afternoon at 1:30p.m., at the 41-A District Court, in Shelby Township, Alexander Gerth will be arraigned on one count of killing/torturing an animal in the heinous stabbing and killing of his dog Sterling.
Sterling, a medium sized, two-year-old, mixed breed brown dog, was found with multiple stab wounds on January 24, 2019, left underneath a picnic table, in below freezing temperatures, in Grant Park. There was a trail of blood from a nearby waste receptacle to the location where Sterling perished.
“The inhumane treatment of Sterling by this defendant is unconscionable,” stated Prosecutor Smith. “My office is fully committed to prosecuting this case at the fullest extent under the law. No animal deserves to have his life ended this way.”
Originally, Gerth applied for ownership of Sterling, but was denied due to his living situation. He convinced a friend to adopt Sterling for him, and moved Sterling into his apartment at the end of December, 2018. Gerth admitted to hitting and punching Sterling on numerous occasions in the short time that Sterling lived with him, stating he used the physical abuse as a means of discipline.
“Rest assured that there will be no plea bargaining in the case. We have charged Gerth with most severe charge on the books; and, we will be asking for the maximum possible sentence provided under the law,” Smith said. “There is no doubt that there needs to be tougher laws addressing animal abuse.”
The charge of killing/torturing an animal is currently a 4-year felony.
Additionally, at this time there are no charges pending on the individual who adopted Sterling on behalf of the defendant. He is a cooperating witness in proving the murder of Sterling by the defendant. Furthermore, at this time, no evidence has been brought forward that would suggest this individual had any knowledge of the defendant’s intent to harm or abuse Sterling.