A California man accused of fatally slamming his wife's Chihuahua against a wall during a domestic dispute could be sentenced to life in prison, according to authorities. Bud Wally Ruiz gave the 6-week-old puppy, Teddy, to his wife for Mother's Day. His wife called police just days later after Ruiz hurled a small travel case with the dog inside across a room as the two argued. He now faces two felony counts of cruelty to animals and a misdemeanor count of spousal battery, reports the San Jose Mercury News.
Because he has four earlier convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, he's in for a particularly harsh sentence this time around if he's convicted under the state's controversial Three Strikes Law for repeat offenders. His wife now claims the puppy's death was an accident. "He's devastated," she said. "He's not a monster." Anyone convicted under the Three Strikes Law faces a minimum sentence of 25 years to life. (Read more domestic dispute stories.)