Accused dog killer could serve up to 30 months in prison

A Coupeville man accused of killing a dog with a pickaxe and threatening his mother with a chainsaw could face up to 30 months in prison if convicted, according to court documents.

Prosecutors charged Jonathan P. Rasmussen in Island County Superior Court Aug. 30 with assault in the second degree, animal cruelty in the first degree while armed with a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm.

All the counts were charged as domestic-violence related.

The standard sentencing range for animal cruelty in the first degree is from zero days to a year in jail, but the firearm enhancement could add 18 months on top of that.

Rasmussen is being held in jail on $100,000 bail.

Rasmussen is accused of threatening to cut his mother’s head off with a chainsaw at the home they share in rural Coupeville, court documents allege. He allegedly grabbed a chainsaw and tried to start it, but it was out of gas.

Later in the day, Aug. 27, Rasmussen went to his sister’s nearby house, where he became enraged at his mother’s Bernese mountain dog for killing a neighbor’s chicken.

Rasmussen first tied a rope around the dog’s neck and dragged it around the property. He grabbed a pickaxe and started hitting the dog with it, the report states. He then went to his truck, retrieved a .22 rifle and shot the dog.

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