NORTH LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A 19-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after he killed a dog belonging to him and his 16-year-old girlfriend and left the dog's body outside by the front door of their home with flowers next to it, authorities said.
According to an arrest report, Lawrence Chaz Graham, of North Lauderdale, admitted to being upset and jealous that his girlfriend wasn't answering his phone calls or his text messages Tuesday night.
Broward Sheriff's Office deputies said that on Wednesday morning, he went to the home he shared with his girlfriend and, when she wasn't there, believed that she was with another man.
Deputies said Graham texted his girlfriend, "U got till 10:30. If u not here by then I swear 2 god I'll finish Jordan off."
Authorities said Graham then repeatedly kicked the dog, a 1-year-old Shih Tzu mix, before picking him up and choking him while he called his girlfriend.
Graham then slammed the dog on the ground and placed his body in a trash bag, which the dog made holes in, authorities said.
According to the arrest report, Graham picked up the dog again and choked him.
The dog died while Graham was waiting for his girlfriend to come home, authorities said.
Deputies said Graham placed the dog's body in another plastic trash bag with the head and front legs sticking out. He then placed the dog next to the front door with a towel over him and an electrical cord around his neck, along with flowers next to the body, authorities said.
According to the arrest report, Graham also left the dog's collar near the body and a note that read "Coulda made it. RIP Jordan."
Other text messages sent to Graham's girlfriend, according to the report, included, "OK. Wen u get home he dead," "If u really loved him u woulda made it in time 2 save him" and "U just f***ed up big time. Hope it (was) worth it."
Graham was arrested on six counts of animal cruelty. This is his first arrest in Broward County.
"I feel like he probably got upset with her, but that still doesn't give him the right to touch the dog," his mother, Sherri Graham, told Local 10 News.
Detective Sira Arroyo, of BSO's Special Victims Unit, told Local 10 News that it is not uncommon for suspects in domestic violence incidents to use animals to make threats.
"Thank goodness the victim didn't come home, because who knows what he would've done to her," Arroyo said.
She said Graham's girlfriend was traumatized by the incident.
Lawrence Graham remains at the Broward County Main Jail in lieu of a $15,000 bond.