An Ellisville man who broke into his ex-girlfriend's home and attacked her small dog so severely that the animal had to be euthanized, was sentenced to eight years in prison Monday. In July, a St. Charles jury found Charles Zidek guilty of felony charges of animal abuse and burglary. St. Charles County Circuit Judge Rick Zerr gave the 37 year old Zidek a four-year term on each charge, to run consecutively. Prosecutors say Zidek entered the home of Diana Walkonis in October, 2011, by breaking out a basement window. Authorities say he then repeatedly threw her Italian greyhound, Vinny, against a bedroom wall. Walkonis found her pet when she returned home later that day. Zidek was linked to the crime when by blood found in the house near the broken window, matched his DNA.
Investigators in East St. Louis are awaiting the results of toxicology tests before deciding whether to file charges in the death of a newborn. Authorities say the baby boy was allegedly thrown from a second-story window by his 23 year old mother. Police Chief Michael Floore says it's unclear if the full-term baby was stillborn. The baby's body was found wrapped in a sheet in some bushes near the home in the 500 block of North 22nd Street.
The trial of a St. Louis priest accused of molesting a teenage girl, under the age of 17 last year, is set to begin tomorrow in Pike County. Fr. Joseph Jiang faces charges stemming from four incidents in the Summer of 2012. The 31 year old Jiang is a native of China and was ordained a priest at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in May of 2010. Prior to his ordination, he served as a deacon at the Cathedral. In addition to felony endangerment of a child, Jiang faces a witness tampering charge for allegedly leaving the victim's parents a $20-thousand check in exchange for not reporting the incidents. A civil lawsuit claims that St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson asked the parents to give the check to him, but they had already turned it over to prosecutors.