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Smirking puppy thief gets 9 years

– The family of 19-year-old burglar Briandre Howard thought it was funny when a prosecutor described Howard’s theft of a puppy from a single mother’s home.

Howard himself seemed amused, though he did manage an apology to the victim in court Friday morning at his sentencing. It was the same victim he called a “bitch” in jail telephone calls when talking to someone about how he left his identification inside her home, according to court documents.

All the smirking from the gallery and his rambling apology and lengthy letter detailing his dreams of joining the military didn’t get very far with the judge, who sentenced him to a total of 9 1/2 years in prison for the burglary and an unrelated theft.

According to court documents and statements by Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Stacey Speith, the burglary victim had been at a funeral with her children. When she returned home to let the pit bull puppy out, she discovered the burglary.

Howard also took a television, laptop, three tablet computers, an Xbox video game system and the puppy’s food.

When he left the house, Howard accidentally left his identification card on a bedroom floor, containing his name and other personal information, according to court documents.

The puppy was never recovered.

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull noted the man’s juvenile record, which included trouble for theft, burglary and possession of a handgun without a license.

Howard was one of three men arrested in connection with a string of thefts from vehicles earlier this year.

Gull sentenced him to a total of eight years on the burglary and an additional 1 1/2 years for theft. She ordered the sentences to be served one after another.