The Seaside Heights man accused of beating a friend's dog to death last year faces sentencing July 7 for one count of animal cruelty.

Nicholas Piccolino (Ocean Co. Dept. of Corrections)
Nicholas Piccolino (Ocean Co. Dept. of Corrections)

Nicholas Piccolino, 34, pleaded guilty to the third-degree charge Monday, according to the Ocean County Prosectutor's Office.

Authorities said that Piccolino offered the same rationale to Judge James M. Blaney that he gave to the owner of Booshu, the 10-year-old Bichon Frise - that he threw the dog to the floor after it bit him.

The necropsy report listed multiple bruises, multiple rib fractures, and broken and missing teeth, authorities said.

Police were called to the house on the night of August 19, 2016. Piccolino had been minding Booshu. Based on a neighbor's account of loud banging and dog yelps, police determined that it occurred while Piccolino was alone with the animal.

According to the investigation, Piccolino called the owner to report trouble with Booshu'ss health. The owner returned to find Booshu dead in the bathroom. Piccolino reportedly said that she "dirtied" herself, and that he dropped her while cleaning her.

Piccolino remains in the Ocean County Jail.

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

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