Trial continues for woman accused of killing dog
Prosecutors played several surveillance videos and a dash cam video in court Thursday during the second day of a jury trial for a woman accused of killing a small dog by throwing it off of the seventh floor of a downtown San Francisco parking garage.
Wakeen “Lala” Best, 34, faces felony animal abuse and auto burglary charges for the Feb. 10 death at the city-owned Sutter-Stockton Garage, in addition to vandalism, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of burglary tools, carrying a dirk or dagger and contempt charges, according to jail records.
Best is accused of breaking into a Mercedes parked on the garage’s seventh floor around 2 p.m. A 4-year-old male Chihuahua named Dunky was allegedly inside the car and was later found dead on the street by its owner.
Several surveillance videos played in court appear to show Best at the parking garage around the time of the incident.
A street-level surveillance video also shown in court depicts what appears to be Dunky falling and hitting the ground.
Prosecutors also played a dash cam video from the dog owner’s Mercedes. Although the dash cam video is facing away from the vehicle and only shows an empty parking lot, a dog can be heard barking nonstop on the video while a car alarm is going off.
A person’s voice can then be heard saying, “Shut your a** up.”
Seconds later, the dog’s barking stops and the voice can be heard saying, “You little b****.” Afterward, a person with long dark hair carrying a large bag is seen walking away from the vehicle.
A former security guard who testified today said she arrived that day to work shortly after Dunky’s owner showed up to their office, visibly upset, with Dunky in a black plastic bag.
After being shown the dash cam video that day, the former employee said she recognized the voice as Best’s. The former employee said she was familiar with Best, as she frequently found Best wandering the seventh floor and often had to ask her to leave.
The former employee also identified Best as the person seen walking away from the vehicle in the dash cam video.
Defense attorney Alexandra Pray, however, argued that the former security guard could not have known whether that was Best’s voice on the dash cam because encounters between the two women were brief and usually involved the security guard talking more than Best.
According to police, investigators identified Best as a suspect and the following day on Feb. 11, after an officer spotted her near Polk and Bush streets, she was arrested and taken into custody.
Best remains in custody and is being held without bail.
The trial is set to continue Monday morning.