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'You Love Those Dogs More Than You Love Me,' Man Tells Wife Before Allegedly Hurling Chihuahuas From Balcony

Jerald Jeske, 51, has been charged animal cruelty for the alleged incident. One of the dogs died from the fall, while the other ran away and is still missing.

By Jill Sederstrom

A Chicago attorney is accused of throwing his wife's two Chihuahuas off a second-story balcony during a heated argument on Christmas Eve, killing one of them.

Jerald Jeske, 51, has been charged with one felony count of aggravated cruelty to animals for the alleged incident, according to statement obtained by Oxygen.com.

Jeske and his wife of 18 months had gotten into an argument that started in their vehicle and continued outside her home, during which he told her “You love those dogs more than you love me. … I’m going to kill those dogs,” according to police.

After grabbing the woman's keys, he ran inside the home and allegedly hurled the dogs from the balcony, according to the Chicago Tribune.

After being locked out of her house, the woman went to a neighbor's to get a spare key. When she entered the home, she heard the "screeching" of a dog coming from the backyard and found her 16-year-old Chihuahua lying on the ground with one eye dislodged from its socket, according to the Assistant State's Attorney Erin Antonietti. The animal was still breathing and the woman brought it to its bed, where it died, Antonietti said.

The second dog, a 14-year old named "Flo," ran away and is missing, WGN reports.

Antonietti said the home's surveillance cameras captured Jeske throwing the two animals.

Jeske's wife initially told police he slapped her twice during their argument, though she later told a detective he had failed to make "physical contact," the Chicago Sun Times reports.

Jeske, an attorney at a Houston energy trading firm, disputed the prosecutor's claims of the events that night in court on Wednesday, telling a judge it was "full of inaccuracies," the Sun-Times reports. However, he declined to elaborate after conferring with an assistant public defender assigned to the case.

Cook County Judge Stephanie Miller has ordered Jeske held on a $10,000 bail. If is his able to post bail, Jeske has been ordered not to have any contact with his wife or animals.

[Photo: Chicago Police Department]

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