Meals on Wheels driver sentenced to probation for death of dog during delivery

Donald Nicoli booking photo (Multnomah County Jail)

A Meals on Wheels driver accused of killing a woman's dog during a delivery pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of first-degree animal abuse.

Donald Nicoli, 68, was arrested in August.

June Rigsby, 70, called police after she found her Chihuahua named Baby dead in her home shortly after Nicoli dropped off her meal.

Rigsby told FOX 12 in August she was in her bed when Nicoli entered her apartment to bring her food. Her three dogs went to greet him.

Rigsby said she heard a thud and only two dogs returned to the bedroom. She went out to find Nicoli gone her dog dead on the kitchen floor.

It was determined the dog died of blunt force trauma and multiple skull fractures, according to police.

Investigators said Nicoli admitted kicking the dog but said he could not remember other specific details.

A spokesperson for Meals on Wheels said at the time of his arrest that Nicoli had been a volunteer for about a year with no complaints and he passed a background check.

Nicoli does not have a prior criminal record.

He was initially charged with first-degree animal abuse and first-degree aggravated animal abuse before reaching a plea agreement.

He was sentenced Thursday to 1 ½ years probation and 80 hours of community service. He is to have no contact with the victim and he cannot own domestic animals.

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