Woodside Man Faces Prison Time for Killing Girlfriend’s Pooch

Not an actual image of Lavonia, the Shih Tzu. Photo by Edson Torres courtesy of Unsplash.

Not an actual image of Lavonia, the Shih Tzu. Photo by Edson Torres courtesy of Unsplash.

By David Brand

A Woodside man who allegedly killed his girlfriend’s dog, stuffed the body in a garbage bag and dumped it in a parking lot was indicted on Friday, prosecutors announced on Monday.

Brandon Henriquez, 23, was arraigned before acting Queens Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron for aggravated cruelty to animals, second-degree criminal mischief, tampering with physical evidence, fourth-degree grand larceny and overdriving and torturing or injuring an animal charges.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said a necropsy performed by an ASPCA veterinarian revealed that the Shih Tzu, named Lavonia, had four rib fractures caused by blunt force trauma.

“The defendant allegedly brutally killed a small helpless dog and heartlessly offered false hope to his girlfriend and family by making them think that the dog had just run away, Brown said in a statement.

Henriquez allegedly killed the dog in July when he was left alone with the pooch inside his girlfriend’s Broad Channel home. When she returned, the dog was gone and Henriquez allegedly told her it ran away.

“For the next four days she and family members searched the area and put up missing dog posters in the belief that they would find the dog alive,” Brown said. “Sadly, what they found were the dog’s remains – allegedly where the defendant disposed of them.”

Family members eventually found the dog inside the bag in the nearby lot. Henriquez was arrested, arraigned and released on bail in August.

He was re-arrested on Nov. 13 and hit with the additional charges, including violating an order of protection.

Surveillance camera footage allegedly shows Henriquez walking to the parking lot with a plastic bag with a lump in it, according to court documents.

If convicted, Henriquez faces up to two years in prison.