A Missouri man has been sentenced to nearly a decade behind bars after murdering a woman’s dog and then leaving the animal’s dead body in a trash bag on her porch.
Andrew Nipper of Cape Girardeau was sentenced last month to four years for felony animal abuse, three years for felony stalking, and two years for the felony charge of stealing an animal, with a judge ruling that he serve his time — which amounts to nine years in the Department of Corrections — consecutively, according to KFVS.
Nipper was accused last year of stealing a dog from its owner's home. The dog’s owner, Katlynn Biggerstaff, told police that she left her dog tied to a leash outside of her apartment on May 19, 2018, according to a probable-cause statement obtained by the Southeast Missourian.
Shortly thereafter, she discovered that her dog was missing; a few hours later, a black trash bag containing her dog’s remains was left on her doorstep, the statement claimed. The dog had been stabbed 11 times.
Biggerstaff and Nipper, who was 18 then, had history, as Nipper was the ex-boyfriend of one of Biggerstaff’s friends. She told authorities that Nipper had been stalking her friend and, at one point, tried to hit her with his car. Biggerstaff called the police on him after that incident, and she believes that he murdered her dog as an act of retaliation and intimidation, the outlet reports.
The probable cause statement says that when Biggerstaff contacted Nipper via Snapchat, he denied having taken the animal but said in a message to her that it seemed like she was having a “ruff” day.
Nipper was arrested on May 20 in an unrelated incident, but police received not only an anonymous tip the following day that Nipper had stolen the dog, but a photo Nipper had taken of himself and the animal as well.
After searching Nipper’s home, police found trash bags similar to the ones the dog’s remains were found in, as well as a sweatshirt that appeared similar to the one Nipper was seen wearing in the damning selfie, KFVS reports.
A search of his car revealed black hairs in the backseat similar to the slain dog’s fur, and a search of his phone resulted in even more evidence, including the photo he took of himself with the dog and search history indicating that he’d researched killing a dog, according to the station. A time stamp on the selfie revealed that it had been taken around nine minutes before the dog’s remains were left at Biggerstaff’s door.
Before Nipper's sentencing, he pleaded guilty to first-degree felony stalking, felony animal abuse, and felony stealing an animal, according to KFVS.
Nipper was charged last year with the violation of a protective order, as well as third-degree domestic assault and first-degree stalking, The Kansas City Star reports. He’d also previously pleaded guilty to stealing, and had been placed on probation after pleading guilty to a fourth-degree assault charge last January, according to the outlet.
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