ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (TCD) — A man will serve 17 years in prison for shooting a service dog and killing its owner in 2021.
According to the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, on Monday, Oct. 16, a judge handed down the sentence against Xavier Marquez for the murder of Shawn Lynch.
On Sept. 22, 2021, the Albuquerque Police Department said Marquez, who was 22 years old at the time, was sitting in his car in front of his home on Kentucky Street SE when Lynch, 34, was walking in the area with his service dog. According to police, the two exchanged words before Marquez shot the service dog, and they began arguing. The dispute escalated, and Marquez reportedly shot Lynch in the head.
According to KOB-TV, the argument allegedly began because the service dog barked at Marquez while Lynch was on his way to a barbecue.
Following the shooting, police said Marquez changed his clothes and fled the scene on a scooter or moped.
Lynch suffered severe injuries and died several days later, on Monday Sept. 27, 2021.
Marquez was initially charged with an open count of murder, shooting at an occupied dwelling, and extreme cruelty to animals. He pleaded guilty in February to second-degree murder with a firearm enhancement and fourth-degree extreme animal cruelty, according to KOB.
At the sentencing, Marquez apologized and said, “I’ve lost a lot of close people due to gun violence, so I do regret the actions that took place, and I do send my condolences from the bottom of my heart to the family that lost a loved one.”
Lynch leaves behind a 6-year-old child. KOB reports the dog made a full recovery after the shooting.
The District Attorney’s Office noted that Marquez has a separate homicide case pending. Police allege he fatally shot 34-year-old Daniel Bustos at a Travel Lodge motel in Northwest Albuquerque in June 2021.