Jose Galvez-Garcia is led from his arraignment at East Hampton Town Justice...

Jose Galvez-Garcia is led from his arraignment at East Hampton Town Justice Court on Dec. 4, 2018. Credit: Doug Kuntz/Doug Kuntz

An East Hampton man pleaded guilty in state Supreme Court on Friday in Riverhead to choking and stabbing his relatives' dog to death, Suffolk prosecutors said.

Jose Galvez-Garcia, 22, faces a maximum of two years in jail for the crime of aggravated animal cruelty, a felony under the state's agriculture and markets law. He admitted killing Simba, a 4-year-old cockapoo, in December. The dog's mutilated body was found in the woods in Springs by the defendant's aunt, the dog's owner.

At the time, East Hampton Town police said Galvez-Garcia stole the dog from his aunt and uncle's home and drove to a secluded area on Breeze Hill Road. There, he choked the dog and stabbed it in the neck, head and torso with a kitchen knife, police said. Then he left the dog's body about 50 feet from the road, police said.

Galvez-Garcia’s attorney, Stephen Grossman of Sag Harbor, said he will ask Cohen to consider sentencing his client to 6 months in jail and five years probation.

Grossman said his client “needs therapy” and hopes the judge considers that.

“This individual, without any cause or reason, killed an innocent, defenseless animal,” Suffolk District Attorney Timothy Sini said in a statement. “This kind of cruelty is inexcusable and will not be tolerated by my office.” 

Police, at the time, said Galvez-Garcia killed the dog because of a dispute with one of its owners.

Justice Mark Cohen will sentence Galvez-Garcia on May 14.

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