Woman Convicted in Death of Dog Tossed into Traffic During Dispute With Neighbor

The Newark woman allegedly grabbed her neighbor's Shih Tzu by the throat, ran outside and threw it into oncoming traffic

A woman accused of causing the death of her neighbor's small dog by throwing it into traffic during an argument over a parking space was convicted Tuesday of animal cruelty and two other charges.

However, the Essex County jury could not reach a verdict on a burglary charge against Haniyyah Barnes.

The partial verdict came after jurors had deliberated for several hours over three days. The 28-year-old Newark resident faces about five years in prison when she's sentenced later this year for animal cruelty, theft and criminal mischief.

Barnes had pleaded guilty in April 2014 to burglary, animal cruelty and theft charges, and prosecutors recommended that she receive a six-year prison term. But a judge allowed her to withdraw her guilty plea in February.

Prosecutors say they plan to retry Barnes on the burglary charge.

The dog's death occurred in August 2011.

Prosecutors say Barnes kicked in the front door of her neighbor's home, grabbed the 2-year-old Shih Tzu named Honey Bey because it started barking and threw the animal into oncoming traffic, where she was struck by a vehicle and killed.

A police officer who was sitting in a patrol vehicle saw what happened and immediately arrested Barnes.

Barnes' attorney, Michelle Treiber, argued at trial that Barnes did not kick in the door and commit a burglary. Treiber also claimed prosecutors had not proven that Barnes was guilty of the animal cruelty offense, urging the jury to instead convict Barnes on the lesser offense that she needlessly killed an animal.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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