Illinois man sentenced to 4 years for animal cruelty

PEKIN - A central Illinois man convicted of aggravated animal cruelty has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Authorities say Stephen Coker, 48, was sentenced on Thursday.  The four-year sentence fell short of the 12 years behind bars that prosecutors were asking for.  Prosecutors say Coker was staying with family friends when he shook, threw, and stomped one puppy to death, and injured another.

Prior to this incident, authorities say Coker had recently been released from prison after serving 10 years for aggravated domestic battery and residential arson.  Coker has remained in custody since his arrest in this case, more than eight months ago.

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