Nicholas Allen Beres pleaded not guilty in Missoula Justice Court on Monday to one count of animal cruelty after he allegedly killed a puppy.
Court documents say that on January 26, Missoula County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report that a man had killed a dog by breaking its neck.
When deputies arrived at the residence, Beres' estranged wife confirmed that she had a puppy and that she had heard Beres yelling after the dog defecated in its crate.
She said she then heard several loud thumps on her front porch and found Beres standing over her puppy while it was twitching and bleeding heavily from the mouth.
Beres admitted to law enforcement that he has "temper issues" and took his anger out on the puppy and struck the dog once. The dog then began to whimper and seize while bleeding and going limp. Beres denied hitting the puppy more than once.
Beres has been charged with one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, and one felony count of probation violation, according to the Missoula County Detention Center. Beres has felony convictions in Musselshell County for burglary and criminal mischief.
He is scheduled to appear in court on March 25 for an omnibus hearing.