LANSING (WWJ/AP) – An ex-Michigan State University medical student accused of killing at least 12 greyhound puppies has been sentenced to five years’ probation.
Andrew Thompson pleaded guilty April 23 to three counts of animal killing. Ingham County Circuit Judge Paula Manderfield sentenced him in Lansing on Wednesday.
As part of his probation, Thompson must perform 400 hours of community service, maintain a minimum of 30 hours per week employment, continue to receive psychological treatment, submit to random drug testing, have no contact with animals and pay more than $5,000 in court fines and restitution.
The judge rejected prosecutors’ call for a two- to four-year prison term. Thompson spent 107 days in jail after his arrest.
Manderfield opted for the lengthy probation term, saying she wasn’t “convinced society would be served spending thousands of dollars to incarcerate you for two to four years.”
Before receiving the sentence, 25-year-old Thompson wiped away tears, saying he was “disgusted and embarrassed” by his actions.
Authorities say Thompson killed the dogs — a small breed that typically weighs 7 to 14 pounds — in East Lansing and Meridian Township.
According to the Lansing State Journal, Andrew David Thompson would buy the Italian Greyhound puppies online, have them shipped to Michigan, and then he would kill them. After the dogs were dead, Thompson allegedly bagged their bodies up and threw them into a nearby dumpster.
A clear reason for why Thompson killed the dogs never emerged.
He told investigators he did things like beat the dogs or throw them against walls because he was angry, the Lansing State Journal reported. Thompson previously told investigators that he killed the dogs out of frustration or anger because they defecated on his floor, urinated in his bed or wouldn’t come to him when he called them.
Court documents show that Thompson suffers from bipolar disorder, and was ordered by Manderfield to undergo mental health treatment.
According to court transcripts, an investigation began after animal control officials received an anonymous complaint that Thompson owned numerous puppies during the past year, but they were mysteriously disappearing.
Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine suspended Thompson after his arrest last summer. He was no longer enrolled by the end of the school year.
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