A Dix Hills man in jail for allegedly severely beating a stolen dog with an aluminum bat in December can undergo a psychiatric evaluation, a Suffolk County Court Judge ruled Monday.Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn granted the request for the evaluation made by Steven Errante's lawyer, Mary-Elizabeth Abbate.
The evaluation will determine whether Errante lacks the capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to help in his defense because of a mental disease or defect.
Errante, who pleaded not guilty Monday to animal cruelty and larceny charges, was also ordered held on a bail of $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.
Prosecutors said he stole the Rottweiler-Labrador mix, named Beauty, from a fenced pen behind a church near his Deer Park Avenue home in October, and that on Dec. 22 he beat the animal with the bat.
The dog suffered head and facial fractures, a broken leg and blunt-force injuries and had to be euthanized days later, prosecutors said.
Errante, who was arrested on Dec. 27, had previously admitted in court papers that he "basically beat the dog with the bat."
On Feb. 18, a Suffolk County grand jury indicted him on the animal cruelty and larceny offenses, He was also indicted on a charge of sexual misconduct, for having sex with the animal.
In court, Abbate of North Babylon, demanded a jury trial. She declined to comment after the arraignment.
Errante's next court date is scheduled for April 4.