EVERETT (CBS) – A Peabody man charged with beating a dog to death in Everett last year wants his case dismissed.
Steven Severino‘s attorney made the request in Malden District Court Thursday morning. The judge said he would take it under advisement.
Severino is accused of brutally beating his ex-girlfriend’s dog Coco in September 2018. When police arrived they say Severino had the dead dog over his shoulder. He denied killing Coco, but admitted she didn’t like him and often bit him.
Severino told officers he took Coco for a walk, she got away and he later found her collapsed outside an apartment building. Prosecutors said video from a surveillance camera didn’t support his story.
Animal rights advocates protested outside of the courthouse Thursday, calling Severino a “scumbag” as he left.
“Animal cruelty is considered a felony. It needs to be treated as a felony,” said Barbara Aceto, founder of the Facebook group Justice for Coco. “We are here to be a voice for these animals. It seems all these cases get a slap on the wrist.”
“She was a fun-loving dog who liked to do funny things and make you laugh,” said Mike Ciaburri. “A big ball of fluff.”
Ciaburri shared custody of Coco with his estranged wife. He said Severino is her current boyfriend and the alleged beating death happened when the dog was in the couple’s custody.
“I just hope justice is served,” said Ciaburri. “I’d like to see him go away for a long time.”
The next court date in the case is set for July 2.