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Carol Stream man charged with puppy's death
By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

Michael R. Jenkins


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Published: 10/12/2009 5:33 PM

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A Carol Stream man with apparent mental health issues remained in custody Monday after he was accused of killing his family's new puppy.

Michael R. Jenkins, 27, will be arraigned Oct. 19 on aggravated cruelty, animal torture and criminal damage to property charges.

Police said he caused fatal injuries to the 13-week-old beagle named "Lexi" after throwing and kicking the pooch Sept. 14 while home alone with her on the 100 block of Goldenhill Street.

It was Jenkins' mother who contacted police. Cathy Jenkins rushed home from work that afternoon after her son called and said he might harm himself, according to a police report. She did not witness the attack on the puppy, which the family brought home just three weeks earlier.

Police said Lexi was dead when they responded.

The defendant confessed he became angry with Lexi after she repeatedly went to the bathroom inside the house, police said. They said Jenkins admitted throwing the puppy down a winding flight of stairs. She hit a wall, then fell to the bottom of the steps. Afterward, Jenkins is accused of kicking Lexi.

Police took the puppy's death seriously. They sent her remains to a veterinarian for a necropsy, after which it was determined Lexi suffered a severe brain injury and had a broken neck and jaw.

Jenkins was booked into the DuPage County jail Sept. 17 after police arrested him on a warrant. He is being held on a $50,000 bond and must post the required 10 percent to be released.

As a condition of bail, DuPage Circuit Judge George Bakalis ordered Jenkins only be released into the custody of a psychiatric facility. He also is barred from having contact with his parents, who obtained a protective order against him.

His defense attorney is seeking to have Jenkins enrolled in DuPage County's mental health court, which if accepted, ensures he'll receive treatment as part of his sentence.

Illinois lawmakers strengthened animal abuse laws a few years ago. It is now a felony punishable by probation or up to three years in prison if someone is convicted of aggravated cruelty. A DuPage County grand jury handed up the felony indictment last week.