Man Accused Of Intentionally Killing Dog Gets 24 Months Probation

Recommendation for incarceration and a lifetime ban on animal ownership not imposed by judge, says State Attorney's Office

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New Smyrna Beach, FL - A sentence recently handed down by a local judge means no jail time for a man accused of intentionally running over his neighbor's dog.

According to the State Attorney's Office, 30-year-old Robert Kayat entered an open plea to one count of felony animal cruelty.

Back in June of 2019, Kayat was driving his truck on Turnbull Bay Road when he intentionally swerved to hit his neighbor's dog named Thomas.

Kayat testified that he did not mean to hit the dog. However, surveillance footage that was obtained by the State Attorney's Office showed Kayat swerving his truck to the side of the road to run the dog over.

Someone from the dog's family spoke at Kayat's sentencing and commented on the impact the death of their dog had on the family, especially their child.

Per their release, Assistant State Attorney Ashley Terwilleger recommended incarceration and a lifetime ban on animal ownership on Kayat, who reportedly owns horses, dogs, and sheep. Judge Matthew Foxman, who presided over the sentencing, did not impose the recommendation.

Instead, Kayat received a sentence withholding adjudication of 24 months’ probation and 50 hours of community service.

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