RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/WAVY) — The man accused of killing “Tommie,” a pit bull that was found set on fire in Richmond’s Abner Clay Park in February, will serve five years in prison after he pleaded guilty in court Wednesday.
In May, Jyahshua A. Hill was arrested and charged in Tommie’s death following months of public outrage.
Hill’s plea agreement will put him in prison for five years, the maximum sentence allowed, and prohibit him from ever owning or possessing an animal, according to a release from Richmond police.
The 20-year-old from Richmond was accused of tying Tommie up to a fence in the park and setting him on fire after “dousing it with a flammable liquid,” police said.
The director of Richmond Animal Care and Control told WAVY sister station WRIC 8News that in her 15 years of working with animals, Tommie’s case of animal cruelty is by far the worst.
Hill, who was indicted by a grand jury in May, pleaded guilty to one count of felony animal cruelty.
Richmond lawmakers later passed a bill — which was signed into law by Gov. Ralph Northam — that upped the penalty for abusing an animal in Virginia from misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony.