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Man gets 6 months in parrot killing

Nov. 28, 2012 at 2:46 PM

EVERETT, Wash., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A Washington state man will spend six months in jail and is barred from owning pets after pleading guilty to stabbing his girlfriend's parrot to death.

Richard J. Atkinson, 63, of Everett, Wash., pleaded guilty last month in Snohomish County Superior Court to first-degree animal cruelty and second-degree domestic-violence malicious mischief. The woman had owned the parrot named Bailey for 18 years.

Atkinson's lawyer William Steffener said his client mixed anti-anxiety medication with whiskey that sent him into a blacked-out rage where he killed the bird with a serving fork and trashed the home they shared, the Daily Herald of Everett, Wash., reported Tuesday.

Both Steffener and prosecutors asked Superior Court Judge George Appel to go forward with the sentence. Calling Atkinson's actions "depraved," Appel agreed.

He also added a stipulation that Atkinson receive treatment from mental health workers while in jail and prohibited Atkinson from owning any pets for at least five years.

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