Texas Puppy Beater Gets 5 Years in the Slammer
People who engage in animal cruelty are the worst, and the powers that be in Texas tend to agree. According to the official opinion of jurors in Tarrant County, Deric Berquist is one of these individuals. Berquist was arrested, charged, and convicted on charges of animal cruelty for viciously beating and torturing an 11-week-old German Shepherd puppy named Nikki.
The horrific crime was caught on Berquist's own home security system. According to CBS DFW, viewed footage of the attack was so brutal that it visibly shook members of the jury. The graphic video clearly showed Berquist "beating, punching, choking and slamming Nikki’s small body to the ground." The dog could be heard crying out in pain until it lost consciousness. The footage also showed Berquist attacking his unnamed girlfriend.
The normal range of incarceration for people convicted of this crime is 180 days to 2 years in State Jail. In this particular case, the jury was allowed to enhance these guidelines due to the savage and barbaric beating that left the puppy battered and broken. Due to the merciless nature of the act, jurors returned a punishment of 5 years behind bars.
Luckily, Nikki will fully recover and is in the custody of Berquist's now ex-girlfriend.