By Sarah Elmquist Squires, WyoTodayMedia
When Shoshoni Police Chief Chris Konija entered the residence, he found a grisly scene: pools of blood and bloody puppy paw prints leading under the bed, where he surmised the baby blue heeler had hidden to escape the man who killed him.
Cedric Shakespeare has been charged with felony animal abuse in the death of the puppy, which the affidavit alleges he brutally beat and stabbed. In an unrelated case, Shakespeare is also accused of beating another woman; she reported an assault while being treated at SageWest Hospital.
‘It ultimately suffered’
According to the animal abuse affidavit, Konija was contacted by a Shoshoni landlord, who reported that one of her tenants had called about an altercation between her boyfriend, Joseph Broken Leg, and Shakespeare after a day of binge drinking. The tenant said the men had attacked her puppy on September 16, and asked the landlord to check on the dog; she found the puppy dead and called Konija.
Konija and the landlord found fresh blood on the exterior of the residence, blood on the entryway floor and walls, and a trail of droplets to the southeastern bedroom. “Upon entering the room, Chief Konija observed a large pool of fresh blood in the middle of the room and pools of blood along the southwestern corner of the room,” states the affidavit. “Additionally, Chief Konija observed dried blood with paw prints which appeared to be from the puppy as it crawled under the bed … It was apparent based upon the pools of blood in various locations and the crawling marks in the dried blood the dog had been repeatedly beat before crawling under the bed where it ultimately suffered until it was deceased.”
The tenant told Konija that Shakespeare and Broken Leg had been drinking at her residence, and were already intoxicated when she woke up that morning. Shakespeare’s nine-year-old daughter was also at the apartment and had been “playing rough” with the puppy, according to the charging document. At one point the tenant brought Shakespeare’s daughter to the park, but she reportedly resumed playing roughly with the puppy when the pair returned to the residence. The tenant told Konija the dog “snipped” at the girl, which the tenant noted was not a bite but just snipping “common to the breed.” The child’s cheek was scratched and bled, and Shakespeare became enraged and began beating the puppy.
Shakespeare and Broken Leg entered the bedroom while Shakespeare allegedly continued his brutal attack. When the tenant attempted to intervene, Broken Leg reportedly physically blocked her from entering the bedroom. She eventually got in and grabbed the puppy, but Shakespeare snatched the blue heeler back and flung the tenant – who was six months pregnant – against the wall.
The tenant fled the apartment and called her grandmother, who picked her up.
According to the affidavit, Broken Leg told Konija that at one point during the attack, Shakespeare grabbed a knife and began stabbing the puppy. He said he was afraid to interfere or to allow the tenant to intervene because he worried Shakespeare would stab them, too. Konija reported that Broken Leg said he loved the dog, and that it didn’t deserve what had happened to it.
Shakespeare is also facing a repeat domestic battery charge, at least his third offense in the last decade. According to the affidavit in that case, the victim made a report from SageWest Hospital on October 14 that he had attacked her while the pair were driving with friends to Wind River Estates. The charging document alleges Shakespeare began punching her and she fled the car, but he continued coming after her. She got back into the vehicle, but couldn’t lock him out, and he allegedly got back into the car and resumed beating her.