​Commonwealth v. Arthur Marques Vieira; Judge Imposes Max Sentence for Torture, Killing of Dog​

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Arthur Marques Vieira, 27 years old, formerly of the 500 block of Treetop Drive in Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge Steven C. Frucci for charges of Torture Dog Causing Death and misdemeanor charges of Obstruction of Justice and Improperly Disposing of a Companion Animal.  Judge Frucci imposed the maximum sentence of 5 years on the felony charge. He further imposed a sentence of 90 days on each of the two misdemeanor charges, for a total active sentence of 5 years and 180 days. After completing his terms of incarceration, Vieira will be under 3 years of supervised release.

Vieira pled guilty on November 2, 2015. Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on May 29, 2015, a burning dog, later identified as “Lucky”, was discovered in a wooded area off Virginia Beach Blvd.  The fire was active, and Lucky was muzzled and bound at all four legs. Lucky died, and a necropsy proved that she had been alive when she was set on fire.  A fire investigator collected a lighter fluid container at the scene. 

Shortly thereafter, Arthur Vieira was identified as a suspect in Lucky’s death.  During at least two interviews with investigators, Vieira gave a series of false statements, first claiming to have given the dog away on Craigslist, next claiming that Lucky ran away, and ultimately admitting to setting fire to Lucky in the woods.  Vieira’s fingerprints were found on the container of lighter fluid.

In urging the Court to impose the maximum sentence, prosecutor David Laird described Vieira’s actions as “horrific, vile, heartless, and barbaric.”  Judge Frucci agreed and acknowledged that this was the worst case of animal cruelty he has ever seen during his career as a lawyer and jurist.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney David W. Laird prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.