A Lehigh Acres woman who was arrested in April for brutally killing her dog and then placing it in a hot oven was accepted into mental health court Friday.
Vicasso Lara, 25, pleaded no contest to a charge of torture/inflict pain/serious physical injury/death upon an animal, a third-degree felony.
Judge Andrew Swett accepted Lara’s plea and sentenced her to one year of community control, three years probation, she must complete mental health court and all of its requirements and cannot own or be around animals.
Lara initially was booked as a male.
Swett said in court Friday, despite the heinous nature of the crime, this is the perfect case for mental health court, and that the crime was a result of Lara’s mental illness.
On April 3, Lee County Sheriff’s deputies conducted a well-being check at a single-family residence in the 4500 block of 20th Street SW in Lehigh Acres.
Initial information indicated that Lara was at the home and had been threatening people at a home in the 100 block of East 11th Street in Lehigh Acres.
Deputies located several pools of blood outside the East 11th Street home and bloody footprints near the rear entrance to the home, they said in an April news release.
Detectives executed a search warrant and discovered the body of a dog in a kitchen oven, which had been turned up to its highest setting.
The investigation revealed Lara had stabbed the dog numerous times, and beaten and brutalized it before putting it in the oven.