Saratoga County District Attorney Karen A. Heggen announced today that Hank D. Smith, (d.o.b. 12/28/90), of 1814 Huntridge Drive, Clifton Park, New York, pleaded guilty to Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, in violation of New York State Agriculture and Markets Law Section 353-a, a “Class E” felony (“Buster’s Law) committed on October 14, 2017.  Defendant Smith admitted today that, “…with no justifiable purpose, intentionally killed a companion animal with aggravated cruelty, meaning conduct which was intended to cause extreme physical pain or conduct which was carried out in an especially depraved or sadistic manner.” Smith admitted to Saratoga County Court Judge James A. Murphy, III that he intentionally killed a miniature Pinscher named Nicholas with aggravated cruelty.  The defendant also waived his right to appeal.  

The investigation of the New York State Police revealed that Defendant Smith killed the dog, which belonged to a member of his girlfriend’s family.  

District Attorney Karen A. Heggen commended the efforts of the New York State Police in Clifton Park.  Heggen said, “This was a terrible case of animal cruelty.  The defendant killed this small dog in an especially depraved and sadistic manner.  That is why we would not plea bargain this case.  Assistant District Attorney Katherine Demartino handled the prosecution of this case and insured today with the Defendant’s plea that there is some level of justice for the miniature Pinscher named Nicholas”.  

Sentencing is scheduled for May 30, 2018 at 9:30 am.  It is expected that Smith will be sentenced to a two-year term of incarceration- the maximum allowed by the statute.