The person accused of killing a dog, who rescuers named Tommie, by intentionally setting him on fire pleaded guilty Wednesday in Richmond Circuit Court to one count of felony animal cruelty.
Jyahshua A. Hill, 20, was sentenced to five years in prison (the maximum for animal cruelty) with no option for parole, an additional three years of supervision, and a lifetime ban on owning animals.
The Humane Rescue Alliance pledged $2,500 to a reward fund set up by Richmond Animal Care and Control for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible. RACC raised a total of $25,000 for the reward.
Investigators with the Richmond Police Department credit information from the community with helping officers solve the case.
“We commend Richmond Animal Care and Control, law enforcement, the fire department, the prosecution team, and so many others in the community and Commonwealth of Virginia who came together with compassion and fierce dedication to get justice for Tommie,” said Reasa Currier, Vice President of External Affairs at the Humane Rescue Alliance. “Their perseverance and collaboration are a shining example for all of our communities.”
The case sparked national outrage and support for Tommie and RACC.
The Humane Rescue Alliance also advocated for the successful passage of Tommie’s Law, named in honor of Tommie, in the Virginia General Assembly, which made animal cruelty a felony charge in the commonwealth.
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