VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — An actor accused in the killing of his ex-girlfriend’s pet rabbit was in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing where it was determined he’d stand trial on charges of animal abuse and making a criminal threat.
The woman, whose identity has been withheld, took the stand at the hearing for Dimitri Diatchenko and recounted the events of last December.
When asked what she remembered Diatchenko telling her, she testified he told her: “That it was fun to snap her neck.”
The woman told police Diatchenko sent her photos on her cellphone of her bunny Ella in various stages of being cooked in the kitchen of their North Hollywood apartment. It happened, she said, after the two got into an argument over bills.
The lead detective testified that Diatchenko threatened the victim’s life.
“‘It was the best rabbit I ever tasted and you’re next,’ ” Detective Craig McLaren of the Los Angeles Police Department testified. When asked whether the woman said she was in fear, the detective replied: “Yes.”
On the stand, the woman testified she now believes the bunny in the photos was not hers but has admitted she hasn’t seen her bunny since the alleged crime and doesn’t know where it is.
“There is a clear showing of bias in this case. She admitted deleting evidence, erasing texts and photographs from her phone after telling the police she would retain them and preserve them. She admits seeking to have stay-away order lifted. She admits not wanting this case to go forward,” Elan Carr, a deputy district attorney, said.
His attorney told the judge this was a spat between roommates and not a serious threat.
“It’s not credible to believe that she thought he was going to do the same to her, which means breaking her neck, skinning her, putting her in the oven, cooking her, and eating her,” Daniel Brookman, Diatchenko’s attorney, argued.
A stay-away order has been issued preventing the woman and the defendant from having any contact; however, it was revealed Wednesday that both parties are still on the lease of the apartment.
Diatchenko’s credits include roles in “Bones” and “Sons of Anarchy.”
He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of both charges.