RIVERSIDE (CNS)  — A Menifee man was ordered Wednesday to stand trial for fatally beating a neighbor’s Chihuahua with a golf club.

Larry Edward Jaurequi, 58, is charged with felony animal cruelty and a sentence-enhancing allegation of using a dangerous or deadly weapon in the Jan. 26 attack. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Larrie Brainard ruled at the end of a preliminary hearing today that enough evidence had been presented for Jaurequi to stand trial.

Jaurequi is due back in court July 18 for a post-indictment arraignment.

He allegedly struck a six-pound Chihuahua so hard the foot-high animal flew through the air, suffering catastrophic internal injuries. The dog, named Lily, and a poodle mix wandered away from her owner’s home and onto a cul-de-sac in the 28100 block of Summitrose Drive, near High Ridge Circle, where Jaurequi lives, sheriff’s Sgt. Sergio Rodriguez said.

The defendant saw the dog and, with a golf club in hand, positioned himself next to it, according to Rodriguez.

“Without reason or cause, the male swung the club against the Chihuahua as if driving a golf ball off its tee,” the sergeant alleged. “The force of the swing sent the animal flying through the air. The suspect was preparing for a second swing when he was stopped by people that just witnessed his acts.”

Lily’s owner, Barbara Hitchman, went looking for the dog and confronted Jaureqi when she found the fatally injured dog.

“I told him, `You’re insane. You’re psycho. You need to be locked away,”‘ she recalled in a interview with a television news station. “He reportedly said, ‘Your dog shouldn’t be loose anyway.”‘

Hitchman took the Lily to a veterinarian, but the dog had to be euthanized.

Jaurequi faces four years behind bars if convicted. He is free on $5,000 bail.


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