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Jury convicts Northern California man of burning 8-week-old puppy alive

A 21-year-old man was convicted Thursday of killing his 8-week-old puppy by burning it to death, authorities said.

A Sacramento jury found Willie Bee Turner guilty of felony counts of maliciously killing an animal and animal abuse as well as two counts of arson, according to the Sacramento County district attorney's office.

In late January 2015, the Oakland resident brought his female Chihuahua-mix puppy to a friend's apartment in the Arden-Arcade area of Sacramento, prosecutors said. When the young dog defecated in the apartment, he became outraged, prosecutors said.

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"Turner told the animal she had 'betrayed' him and began excessive discipline," according to the district attorney's office.

Witnesses saw Turner pour bleach cleanser on the dog, prosecutors said. The witnesses placed the puppy in a neighbor's animal crate.

Turner snatched the animal crate and carried it across the street, setting fire to the bedding inside as well as the puppy, prosecutors said.

“It was a small dog, in a small crate that was burned beyond belief,” Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Capt. Michele Eidam told the Sacramento Bee after the animal's death. “It’s horrible.”

A county veterinarian testified that the young dog was alive before it was charred by flames.

Turner is scheduled to be sentenced on April 15. He faces up to four years and four months in state prison. 

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno.

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