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Archive for Tuesday, July 24, 2001

Second conviction twists tale of dog killer

July 24, 2001

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— A man who threw a dog to its death in a fit of road rage was convicted Monday of stealing tools from his telephone repair van and pushing the vehicle off a cliff to cover up the crime.

A jury took about an hour to convict Andrew Burnett, 28, of theft, vandalism and lying to police. He could receive more than two years in prison at his Sept. 21 sentencing.

Burnett was sentenced earlier this month to three years behind bars in the death of a bichon frise whose owner had tapped Burnett's bumper in rainy-day traffic. Burnett threw the little dog into traffic before driving off.

Burnett, a former telephone line repairman, was accused of stealing $30,000 worth of equipment from his van and pushing it over a 400-foot cliff about 15 miles south of San Francisco in December.

Burnett said the van went off a cliff when he swerved to avoid a deer. He said he survived the plunge along the rocky cliff and awoke on a beach after six or seven hours.

Burnett said he walked at least 10 miles to a commuter train, then found his car and took a road trip.

While he was gone, a police detective investigating Burnett's disappearance as a missing-persons case uncovered clues that linked Burnett to Leo's death.

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