JURY FINDS DEFENDANT WAKEEN BEST GUILTY OF ANIMAL CRUELTY AND AUTO BURGLARY

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News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 20, 2018

@GeorgeGascon

 

CONTACT:   ALEX BASTIAN (415) 553-1931 | NIKESH PATEL (415) 734-3205

 

JURY FINDS DEFENDANT WAKEEN BEST GUILTY OF ANIMAL CRUELTY AND AUTO BURGLARY

 

SAN FRANCISCO - Today, District Attorney George Gascón announced that a jury found Wakeen Best, age 34 of San Francisco guilty on all charges, felony animal cruelty, felony auto burglary and felony vandalism. The jury found the defendant guilty this afternoon after a day of deliberation. This successful outcome is a product of great collaboration between the SFDA’s office, San Francisco Police Department and Animal Care and Control.

 

“This defendant showed no remorse and is responsible for the death of a little, defenseless animal,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “This verdict is a small step toward bringing justice for Dunky. This verdict also sends a clear message that in San Francisco there are consequences for harming our beloved pets.”

 

"The particularly cruel circumstances of this case spurred SFPD investigators to quickly identify the suspect from prior contacts and make an arrest," said San Francisco Police Chief William Scott. "We are thankful to the San Francisco District Attorney's Office for their diligent work to secure a conviction in this case. In the weeks following this crime, city garages including the Sutter Street and Stockton Street parking structure have installed fencing, signage better lighting and surveillance cameras to discourage would-be thieves. Today, thanks to collaborative efforts among city agencies, local businesses and residents, auto burglaries in our city are down 20 percent year to date."

 

“We are grateful to the jury for the verdict in this case and for the hard work of the District Attorney’s Office and the SFPD,” said Virginia Donohue, Executive Director of Animal Care & Control. “We hope that this gives Dunky’s family some comfort.”

 

According to court records, on February 10, 2018, at approximately 2:15pm, Wakeen Best entered into the Sutter/Stockton garage. She headed to the 7th floor, targeted the fanciest car she saw and she broke the window. A little chihuahua named Dunky was in the car. Dunky surprised the defendant and called attention to her by barking. As a result, the defendant mortally wounded Dunky. She then discarded Dunky by dropping him from the 7th floor of the parking structure.

 

“Dunky didn’t have to die, I’m grateful for the jury’s thoughtful deliberation in this case,” said Assistant District Attorney Asha Jameson.

 

Trial lasted approximately three weeks. The jury deliberated for one day. Sentencing is set for August 17 in Department 19.

 

We thank the San Francisco Police Department and Animal Care and Control for their great work on this case and Assistant District Attorney Asha Jameson for prosecuting the case. We also want to thank law student Marlee Piette for her assistance in the case.

 

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