SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A Milpitas, Calif., man has been sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for killing his girlfriend's 10-year-old dog, Copper, prosecutors said.
Alex Castro was sentenced Friday for beating Copper to death with a hammer in 2007. His sentence was influenced by two former violent felony convictions, Deputy District Attorney Kevin Smith said.
"Despite the defendant's claims he was getting too much time for 'only killing a dog,' he is getting this sentence for the violence in his past," Smith told The San Jose Mercury in a story published Saturday.
In 1994, Castro was convicted of serious bodily injury for choking a man until he turned blue and nearly died, and in 1982, he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for striking two men with a tire iron multiple times, a probation report said.
Castro, 48, also had 20 misdemeanor convictions, including driving under the influence and driving with a suspended license.
Joanie Gonzalez, who owned 10-year-old Copper, a cocker spaniel, said she was "satisfied" with the verdict.