By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater man avoided a jury trial this week on an animal cruelty charge by admitting last week that he had fatally beaten his girlfriend’s 12-pound Chihuahua at her Stillwater apartment while she was at work.
Andrew Eugene Fields, 32, was ordered by District Judge Phillip Corley to have a mental health evaluation, perform any follow-up treatment recommended, undergo random drug tests, pay $215 restitution along with a $300 fine, and serve 90 days in jail followed by four years and nine months of probation.
Fields, who was also originally accused of assaulting a sheriff’s deputy on April Fool’s Day of 2019, pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge of obstructing the officer for which he was given a concurrent 90-day jail term and ordered to pay the cost of his incarceration plus a $250 fine, court records show.
Fields’ girlfriend had reported to Stillwater Animal Welfare on Jan. 29, 2019, “a possible animal abuse by her boyfriend, Andrew Fields, which caused the death of her pet dog,” Stillwater Police Detective Sherae LeJeune wrote in an affidavit.
She explained that two months earlier, her boyfriend was at her apartment with her seven-year-old, 12-pound long-haired Chihuahua named Sally while she was at work, the affidavit said. “When she arrived home, she noticed something was wrong with Sally. Andrew admitted he punched Sally because she bit him while he was giving her a bath,” the affidavit said. “On the evening of Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, she returned home from her first job. Andrew was at her apartment with Sally. At that time, Sally behaved normally; nothing was unusual. At 9 pm she left for her second job and returned home around 11:30 pm,” to find her dog lying on the woman’s bed exhibiting unusual distressed behavior, including heavy panting, white gums and inability to stand on her own, along with having a wet coat, the affidavit said. She stayed with her pet until the dog died at about 1 am, the affidavit said.
When Fields agreed to be interviewed on Feb. 18, 2019, at the Stillwater Police Department, “Andrew explained that Sally did not like him. Andrew admitted that on the day of the incident, he did pin Sally to the ground, then punched her three or four times and caused her to die.
“He explained that she ‘pissed him off’ and he ‘lost his cool’ because she pooped on the floor of the residence after he had just cleaned. He said she barked and whined while she was getting punched, but he did not believe it sounded like a ‘hurtful bark or whine,"” the affidavit said.
“I asked him about the time he punched Sally when he gave her a bath. He said Sally bit his finger, but it did not hurt and that was why he did not think she liked him. I asked if he punched her then. He stated ‘yeah, but I hit her in the back of the head,” the Stillwater police detective wrote in the affidavit.