An Ellisville, Mo., man broke into his ex-girlfriend’s home and repeatedly threw her 8-pound dog against a bedroom wall, causing injuries so severe the animal had to be euthanized, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The case against Charles A. Zidek, 37, who is charged with burglary and animal abuse, was laid out as his jury trial opened in St. Charles County Circuit Court.
According to authorities, Zidek entered the St. Charles home of Daina Walkonis, 42, by breaking out a basement window about 2 a.m. on Oct. 9, 2011. Once inside, he attacked her Italian greyhound, Vinny, they said.
When she arrived home later the same morning, “little Vinny was in the corner, crumpled up like a discarded bag of dry rags,” assistant prosecutor Philip Groenweghe said in opening remarks.
Blood was coming out of the dog’s eyes, nose and mouth, his leg was severely broken and his brain was swelling, Groenweghe said.
“Can it be described as anything but torture?” he asked the jury.
An official with the county crime lab testified that blood at the scene matched the DNA of Zidek, who authorities said was living in Chesterfield at the time of the incident.
A neighbor, Anna Jewson, said she saw Zidek’s truck and a man she believed was Zidek outside Walkonis’ home about 2 a.m. the morning of the incident.
Walkonis testified that she and Zidek dated off and on from 2009 to 2011 but broke up a couple of months before the dog was hurt.
However, she said she agreed to go with Zidek to a wedding reception the night before the attack but left in a taxi without him because he was drinking excessively.
She said she went out with him again in February 2012 because she “thought maybe he had changed.”
“One time after he had been drinking, he told me Vinny had got what he deserved” and admitted to her he had attacked the dog, she testified.
As recently as last week, Zidek called her and urged her not to testify, Groenweghe said.
Zidek’s attorney, Jeffrey Witt, told the jury that prosecutors need to prove everything they are alleging. The trial will resume today.
If convicted of the charges, Zidek faces up to 11 years in prison.