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Police: Man beats girlfriend's dog to death at Maryland motel because she went to work

Scorpio Stanfield (Montgomery County Police)

A healthy Jack Russell Terrier slowly bled to death after its owner beat it in a motel room for no apparent reason, Montgomery County Police allege in court documents obtained by ABC7.

Scorpio Stanfield, 27, is facing a variety of animal abuse charges stemming from the June 3, incident.

Late that night, an "inconsolable" woman called police to report she had discovered her Jack Russell Terrier, Lela, dead on the floor of her room at the Extended Stay America along Century Boulevard in Germantown. The female adult dog was bruised, cold and stiff.

“I do not understand the modus of someone wanting to intentionally hurt an animal," stated Jack Breckenridge, Montgomery County's lead animal cruelty investigator. "This dog had had a prolonged death as it bled out internally on the floor.”

Lela's owner told police Stanfield, her boyfriend of roughly two years, had a history of physical abuse against women and animals. The couple is homeless, spending most nights in their car, or when money allows, area motels.

On June 3, Stanfield allegedly followed his girlfriend on foot to her waitress job, at one point stating, "I am going to hurt your dog b****." Stanfield was reportedly upset with his girlfriend’s desire to work.

Then around 11:30 p.m. that same day, Stanfield entered the restaurant to notify his girlfriend about the bad news. Stanfield initially explained Lela had gotten crushed in the motel room door while attempting to escape, but later claimed a heavy chair had fallen on the Jack Russell Terrier.

“The necropsy that we conducted completely ruled out that possibility," Breckenridge countered. "This dog died from receive crushing injuries to its stomach that caused it to bleed out internally.”

The necropsy further showed "widespread blunt force trauma" to Lela's chest, stomach and internal organs.

"The depth and color of the bruising supports that the dog was struck with such force to cause significant injury that could not have been corrected even with immediate veterinary intervention," court documents state.

Extended Stay America provided investigators with electronic access logs to the couple's room, which showed Stanfield was the only person with access around the time Lela died.

A motel manager additionally shared that Stanfield was evicted from a different local Extended Stay America in 2017 for allegedly exposing his genitals to a staff member. The removal order angered Stanfield. The manager recalled witnessing Stanfield kick Lela and a different dog while leaving that property.

“It is upsetting because we’re in this business because we like animals," Breckenridge shared candidly. "But there is some relief in the fact that we can hold him accountable in court for his actions.”

Due to his criminal history and transient lifestyle, a judge opted to keep Stanfield in jail without bond while he awaits trial. He is scheduled to appear in Montgomery County Circuit Court on July 13, for a scheduling hearing. He faces up to three years in prison.

The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is representing Stanfield. It has a longstanding policy of not speaking with the press about pending criminal matters.

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