Smyrna man to serve 3 years in prison for tossing Yorkie from motel balcony
by Jon Gillooly
February 08, 2014 04:00 AM | 3512 views | 4 4 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Marcell Sibley
Marcell Sibley
MARIETTA — A Smyrna man will serve three years in prison for throwing his Yorkshire terrier over a balcony at a Marietta motel last summer.

Marcell Sibley, 29, of Smyrna entered a non-negotiated guilty plea to one count of aggravated cruelty to animals on Friday. The maximum sentence for cruelty to animals is five years.

Sibley told Cobb Superior Court Judge Stephen Schuster that he had snapped when he hurt the dog, which he had named “Diamond,” last June 27.

The animal was severely hurt but survived, and she is now with a family

in Florida.

“Life was overwhelming to me,” an emotional Sibley told the court. “I’m just really sorry, and I don’t think going to jail will help me or my dog. … It was my fault. She didn’t deserve that.”

Schuster detailed the choices Sibley made that day.

“You picked the dog up. You put it in the crate. You threw the crate over the balcony.

You then went downstairs, picked up the crate and put it in the Dumpster. You then left the scene. Those were not good choices that day,” Schuster said. “Diamond’s love for you was unconditional. … And in return for that unconditional love, you threw Diamond off the balcony, then picked up the crate and threw it in the Dumpster.”

Assistant District Attorney Theresa Schiefer, who prosecuted the case, said Sibley tried to reclaim the dog at Cobb County Animal Control after he was released on bond, and it was only in December when he agreed to relinquish ownership rights to the animal.

“I was appalled to learn that Mr. Sibley later tried to regain possession of the dog,” Schiefer said. “She is doing much better now and has been adopted into a loving family who is committed to providing for her future care, made more complicated by the long-term effects of this horrendous attack.”

Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds said he was pleased with the court’s sentence.

“The Cobb DA’s office will continue to send a clear message that animal abuse will not be tolerated in our community,” he said.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
February 08, 2014
They should have thrown this idiot off the balcony and then shipped him off to prison. Better yet they could throw him off the balcony of a cruise ship and let the sharks eat him !!
Diamond Jim
February 08, 2014
This is just ridiculous! I love animals as much as anyone, and have several, but 3 years in prison,(aka Crime University for Future Offenders) at taxpayer expense, and a conviction record that will follow this guy around for the rest of his life,further compounding his employment problems, makes no sense to me whatsoever. People get lesser sentences for assault against other human beings!

Ask any veterinarian and he/she will tell you that owners bring pets in to be "put down" (murdered) because they are going on vacation, are simply tired of them, or for a host of other flimsy reasons. Should they be treated as criminals? Should the vets who carry out their wishes (and many refuse) be prosecuted? I agree that Sibley deserves punishment of some type, but

Judge Schuster went overboard. Probation and a stiff community service requirement, would have been more appropriate in my view.

And yes, I know I'm going to catch hell from PETA

members and the "I love my animals more than I love other human beings" crowd, that doesn't change my opinion.
February 09, 2014
Diamond Jim, I too believe this sentence was on the heavy side.

As you note, we don't sentence people so heavily for assaults on people ( including children).

I AM a big time fool for dogs. As they say, dog are not my whole life but, they make my life whole. Anyone that intentionally/negligently hurts a dog/animal is a problem in my eyes.

February 12, 2014
Finally a rationale person. The time doesn't fit the crime at all. Next week we'll have people that kill goldfish get a year in jail. smh
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