BEYOND BERGEN: Police said publicity forced a Union County woman charged with killing four of her boyfriend’s 5-week-old puppies after an argument to surrender last night.
Kimberly Matthews, 26, posted $2,000 bond and was given an Oct. 22 date in Linden Municipal Court, Police Capt. James Sarnicki said this morning.
“Her mother, who accompanied her, said it was the publicity that forced her to turn herself in,” he said.
InsideOut , a CLIFFVIEW PILOT news partner, broke the story yesterday. The PILOT published its own version, which has received enormous response from angry readers ( SEE: Police: Woman suffocated puppies after fight with boyfriend ).
Matthews gave a neighbor the American bulldogs in an Igloo cooler Sunday night to take care of them, Sarnicki told InsideOut .
The neighbor told police that Matthews said the motionless pups “were probably just sleeping,” he said.
When he later went to touch them, the man said, they were cold, so he called police, the captain said, adding that likely were suffocated.
MORE INFO: Bergen County SPCA (or click image above)
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Responding officers spoke to Matthews, who denied responsibility, he said.
However, the neighbor told police that Matthews had an argument over the phone Sunday night with her boyfriend, who breeds the dogs, during which she threatened to kill them.
“At some later point, she removed the puppies from their cage and placed them into the cooler,” Sarnicki said.
Matthews was arrested on two outstanding warrants, one out of Clark and the other out of Middlesex County. Police drew up four complaints of animal cruelty that he said they planned to charge Matthews with yesterday.
But they apparently had trouble finding her — until she showed up at headquarters last night.
If convicted of the animal cruelty charges, Matthews could face up to 2 years in prison — six months for each count.
She also could be required to pay fines for each of from $500 to $2,000, Sarnicki said.
IMAGES: Courtesy InsideOut
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