Man pleads guilty to stomping puppies to death in front of young children

A 22-year-old man from Odenton faces as much as six years in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to stomping puppies to death in front of young children, prosecutors said.

Donald Yearwood pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty charges over a violent eruption on the evening of Nov. 9, 2016. He was sleeping in the basement of a home in the Brooklyn neighborhood of South Baltimore and awakened by yelping puppies upstairs. Several children were playing with four puppies, which were just a few weeks old.

Upset that he couldn’t sleep, Yearwood took the box of puppies, dumped them on the floor and stomped on their heads, prosecutors said, then threw the puppies down the basement stairs.

The children ran screaming from the house.

Neighbors called police, and witnesses said Yearwood left with the puppies from the back of the house in the 3700 block of 10th St., prosecutors said. Two hours later, a woman called police to say her children found a box of puppies in a dumpster at Benjamin Franklin High School in South Baltimore. Three of the four puppies were dead. The survivor was suffering with head trauma and euthanized.

Yearwood turned himself in and admitted to throwing the puppies downstairs, prosecutors said. An investigation, however, found blood traces at the top of the stairs. Further, Dr. Perry Habecker, an animal pathologist at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted an examination of the dead puppies and determined they were all beaten in the head.

He was charged with 24 counts of animal cruelty and mutilation. Yearwood is scheduled for sentencing Oct. 19.

“The facts of this case are disturbing — first and foremost for its pure depravity — but secondly, for performing such a deranged act in front of children,” Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement.

tprudente@baltsun.com

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