A Chicago attorney was arrested on a felony animal cruelty charge after police said he threw his wife’s two dogs off a second-floor balcony, killing one. Jerald Jeske is accused of throwing the chihuahuas out of the apartment during a fight Christmas Eve, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Jeske, 51, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty, the Chicago Police Department said. Jeske attacked the dogs during a fit of jealous rage, according to police. His wife told officers that the fight began in a car outside of their apartment on West Grand Avenue in Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. They continued fighting inside their apartment and Jeske threw the dogs off the balcony, according to police. He was arrested after someone called 911 to report a domestic dispute.
A 17-year-old chihuahua was killed, according to police.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Jeske Told His Wife ‘You Love Those Dogs More Than You Love Me … I’m Going to Kill Those Dogs’ Before Throwing Them Off the Balcony, Police Say
Jerald Jeske was arrested the evening of December 24 after a fight with his 55-year-old wife at their West Town apartment on West Grand Avenue, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Police responded about 10 p.m. after someone called 911 to report that a couple was fighting inside a vehicle and in their apartment.
Jeske’s wife told police her husband struck her in the face twice in their car during the argument and then went inside their apartment. Jeske’s wife said he told police he told her, “You love those dogs more than you love me. … I’m going to kill those dogs,” according to the Chicago Tribune.
Jeske then threw the two dogs from the balcony, according to police.
2. The Second Dog Ran Off After Being Thrown From the Balcony & Had Not Been Found as of Wednesday Morning
Chicago Police said the 17-year-old chihuahua was killed after being thrown from the balcony. The other dog, also a chihuahua, survived the attack and ran off, according to police. The dog’s age was not immediately known.
According to CBS Chicago, the second dog remained missing as of Wednesday, December 26. A lost dog poster obtained by a local news station shows the dog is named Florence.
The dog’s are owned by Jerry Jeske’s 55-year-old wife. According to her Facebook page, she and Jeske were engaged in October 2016. It is not clear when Jeske and his wife were married. He has lived in the Chicago apartment on West Grand Avenue since 2013.
It is Jeske’s second marriage, according to public records. He was previously married in Kentucky in 1997. It is not clear when he and his first wife divorced. Jekse has a son from his first marriage, according to social media pages.
3. Jeske Has Worked as the Chief Compliance Officer at a Commodity Trading Company Since 2011 & Studied at the University of Wisconsin & Chicago Kent College of Law
Jerry Jeske is an in-house attorney at Mercuria Energy Trading, a Swiss-based commodity trading company with an office in Chicago. He has worked as counsel at the company since 2011, according to a bio on energy conference website. He is scheduled to speak at the conference, Energy Risk USA, in May 2019.
Jeske is a vice president at Mercuria and is a chief compliance officer, according to the biography. He was previously a director of commodities compliance at Barclays Capital from 2008 to 2011, and served as compliance counsel at BP America Inc. WOR operations from 2005 to 2008.
Jeske also practiced law at Foley & Lardner, a Milwaukee-based law firm, in the commodities and securities litigation and regulatory practice groups, defending clients from various enforcement actions from federal, state and exchange enforcement authorities and counseling clients on relevant rule interpretations and case law developments, according to the bio.
He graduated from Chicago Kent College of Law at the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Wisconsin, where he studied economics and international relations.
4. He Could Face Between 1 to 3 Years in State Prison Along With a Fine of Up to $250,000 if Convicted of the Felony Animal Cruelty Charge
Jeske could face between 1 to 3 years in state prison if convicted of aggravated animal cruelty, which is a Class 4 felony in Illinois, according to state law. Jeske could also pay a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted of the charge.
According to the state law, aggravated animal cruelty is, when a person “intentionally (commits) an act that causes a companion animal to suffer serious injury or death.”
Jeske could also be required to complete psychological evaluation and treatment if found guilty.
5. Jeske Was Ordered Held on $10,000 Bail After His First Court Appearance
Jerald Lee Jeske remained in custody at the Cook County Jail on Wednesday, December 26, according to online records. Jeske appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday and was ordered held on $100,000 bond after a bail hearing, the Chicago Tribune reports. His next court appearance is scheduled for Monday, December 31, the newspaper reports.
Jeske could not be reached for comment. It is not clear if he has hired an attorney.