Roger Stone argues he should get reduced sentence because he 'cares about animals'

Oliver O'Connell
Roger Stone, right, accompanied by his wife Nydia Stone, arrive at federal court in Washington DC on Thursday, 20 February, 2020: (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

As Judge Amy Berman Jackson prepares to sentence Roger Stone his defence team offered a unique reason for a more lenient sentence.

Mr Stone cares about animals.

His lawyers note that Mr Stone at 67 years old is an unlikely to engage in recidivism, that he cares about animals, will soon be a great-grandfather, helps former NFL players facing brain injuries, and is a mentor” to many people.

However, according to the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller, in one of the instances of witness tampering, Mr Stone also threatened to steal a dog.

The indictment did not name the dog or the dog’s owner, but The Washington Post reported at the time that the animal in question was a Coton de Tulear “therapy dog” named Bianca that belongs to Mr Stone's associate Randy Credico, a comedian and former New York radio host.

The Post does clarify that Bianca is likely safe as Mr Stone is in fact a self-professed dog lover. He and his wife own three cats and two Yorkshire terriers, having owned nine Yorkies over the years, and have campaigned against euthanasia rates at a local shelter and a puppy mill.

One animal that Mr Stone probably does not care for is the giant inflatable rat dressed to mimic Donald Trump that greeted him on his arrival at the courthouse this morning.

Mr Stone was offered a chance to address the court, but declined. Judge Jackson noted this may be because of a planned appeal and that she will not hold not speaking against him.

After returning to the courtroom following a recess, Judge Jackson said: “Unsurprisingly, I have a lot to say.”

Mr Stone's sentencing hearing is ongoing.