Marcell Sibley, 29, of Smyrna entered a non-negotiated guilty plea to one count of aggravated cruelty to animals on Friday. The maximum sentence for cruelty to animals is five years.
Sibley told Cobb Superior Court Judge Stephen Schuster that he had snapped when he hurt the dog, which he had named “Diamond,” last June 27.
The animal was severely hurt but survived, and she is now with a family
“Life was overwhelming to me,” an emotional Sibley told the court. “I’m just really sorry, and I don’t think going to jail will help me or my dog. … It was my fault. She didn’t deserve that.”
Schuster detailed the choices Sibley made that day.
“You picked the dog up. You put it in the crate. You threw the crate over the balcony.
You then went downstairs, picked up the crate and put it in the Dumpster. You then left the scene. Those were not good choices that day,” Schuster said. “Diamond’s love for you was unconditional. … And in return for that unconditional love, you threw Diamond off the balcony, then picked up the crate and threw it in the Dumpster.”
Assistant District Attorney Theresa Schiefer, who prosecuted the case, said Sibley tried to reclaim the dog at Cobb County Animal Control after he was released on bond, and it was only in December when he agreed to relinquish ownership rights to the animal.
“I was appalled to learn that Mr. Sibley later tried to regain possession of the dog,” Schiefer said. “She is doing much better now and has been adopted into a loving family who is committed to providing for her future care, made more complicated by the long-term effects of this horrendous attack.”
Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds said he was pleased with the court’s sentence.
“The Cobb DA’s office will continue to send a clear message that animal abuse will not be tolerated in our community,” he said.