The Seaside Heights man accused of causing a dog's death by beating last August stands the possibility of trial, following his indictment by an Ocean County grand jury in Toms River.

Nicholas Piccolino (Ocean Co. Dept. of Corrections)
Nicholas Piccolino (Ocean Co. Dept. of Corrections)

Nicholas Piccolino, 34, faces one third-degree count of animal cruelty, according to the office of County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.

The10-year-old Bichon Frise called Booshu, belonged to Piccolino's former girlfriend, authorities said. A necropsy yielded evidence of multiple blunt-force trauma, authorities said.

According to investigators, Piccolino and the pet were alone in the owner's kitchen on August 19, 2016, at about 9:55 PM. A short while later, Piccolino reached the woman to tell her that something seemed to be wrong with her dog.

When she found Booshu dead in her bathroom, Piccolina allegedly said that he dropped the dog while cleaning her, after she had "dirtied" herself in her crate.

Investigators, however, contend that an upstairs neighbor in the house reported hearing several loud bangs and dog yelps while the two were by themselves.

Booshu was pronounced dead on arrival at Red Bank Animal Hospital, after which Dr. Shannon Swist of the New Jersey Animal Health Diagnostic Lab discovered the injuries.

Piccolino was charged September 13, at which time bail was set at $35,000.

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

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