Chicago, IL – An attorney has been accused of hurling his wife’s elderly dogs off a second-floor balcony to their deaths during a domestic dispute on Christmas Eve.
Jerald Jeske, 51, a Houston energy trading firm lawyer, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty for the alleged attack, the Chicago Sun Times reported.
According to prosecutors, Jeske and his wife began arguing about her 14- and 16-year-old chihuahuas as they were heading home from a Christmas party.
“I’m going to kill those dogs,” Jeske told his wife, according to a police report. “You love your dogs more than you love me.”
The woman initially told officers that Jeske slapped her twice as they were driving, but later said that he “never made physical contact” with her during the altercation.
She said she tried to kick him out of the car while they were still several blocks away from their home on West Grand Avenue, but he refused.
When they pulled up at the residence, Jeske allegedly snatched the keys from his wife’s hands and ran into the house, locking her outside.
The woman went to her neighbor’s home to retrieve her spare key, then started back towards her residence to let herself in.
But as she approached, Jeske’s wife said she heard the “screeching” of a dog coming from the back yard.
Moments later, she found her 16-year-old chihuahua lying on the ground bleeding, with one eye hanging from its socket, Assistant State’s Attorney Erin Antonietti told the court on Wednesday.
The woman scooped up her dog, which was still breathing at the time, and placed it on its bed inside the home.
It succumbed to its injuries a short while later.
Police responded to the residence at approximately 9:10 p.m., and located Jeske in an upstairs room.
According to Antonietti, security cameras at the residence captured the moment that Jeske hurled the elderly dogs “out of the back door,” the Chicago Sun Times reported.
The woman’s 14-year-old chihuahua has still not been found, prosecutors said.
Jeske had an abrasion to his lip at the time of his arrest, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
The couple has been married for approximately 18 months, but Jeske’s attorney said he has been living in Houston for the past three years.
During the hearing, Jeske argued that the prosecutor’s account of his altercation with his wife was “full of inaccuracies,” but his lawyer did not explain what information Jeske disagreed with.
Judge Stephanie Miller ordered that Jeske be held on $10,000 bond, and that he have no contact with any animals or his wife.
He is due back in court on Jan. 31.