Former spouse of accused dog killer testifies he was jealous of attention she gave animals

·3 min read
John Geick is on trial on three charges of animal abuse. He's alleged to have killed two dogs that died of blunt force trauma from several injuries. The animals pictured here are not the dogs he is accused of killing.
John Geick is on trial on three charges of animal abuse. He's alleged to have killed two dogs that died of blunt force trauma from several injuries. The animals pictured here are not the dogs he is accused of killing.

(Facebook/John Geick - image credit)

The Calgary man accused of fatally beating his girlfriend's two dogs was jealous of the attention she gave the animals, according to the woman's testimony Tuesday.

Joanna Smith cried through much of her testimony on Day 2 of John Geick's animal abuse trial.

In February 2019, Smith and Geick, now 39, lived together with their infant son in Calgary's southwest.

At the time, Smith had two dogs: a six-year-old basset hound named Sophie and a five-year-old Chihuahua named Tyler.

Necropsies done on both dogs showed they died from severe trauma — multiple blunt force injuries so severe, Sophie would have died within minutes, Tyler within hours.

Geick, said Smith, oscillated between being strict and loving toward the dogs. She said Geick was jealous of the attention she would give their son and the dogs.

Smith, 36, told prosecutor Rosalind Greenwood that after her second dog died in a three-day span, she went into her garage and found a bloody towel, a mallet and electrical tape caked in dog hair.

Geick had tearfully told her earlier that he had harmed the two animals.

Smith testified she was woken up the morning of Feb. 15, 2019, to Geick telling her something was wrong with Sophie. He said she wasn't breathing properly and didn't want to go outside.

When she checked on Sophie, the dog was dead.

The couple wrapped Sophie in a blanket and took her to the veterinary hospital, where they planned to cremate the animal.

Two mornings later, Geick woke up Smith again. This time, he said Tyler, the Chihuahua, was "acting depressed" because he missed Sophie.

Smith found Tyler downstairs wrapped in a blanket, shaking with laboured breathing. She said she placed him on the floor and he "toppled" over.

'It didn't make sense'

Ultimately, after consulting with the vet, the dog was in such grave shape, he was euthanized.

Smith said she confronted Geick about what happened to Tyler while they were at the veterinary hospital but he got defensive.

"He said I was awful for even thinking that," said Smith.

That night, Smith's suspicions got the better of her and she called the animal hospital asking that the Calgary Humane Society investigate the two dogs' deaths.

"It didn't make sense," said Smith. "It made me think that John had done this."

'I asked if he hurt them'

Days later, knowing an investigation was underway, Smith again confronted Geick.

"I said I loved him and I needed to know what happened," said Smith. "I asked if he hurt them … I knew he was really stressed at that time."

"He started crying … he nodded as he was crying."

Smith said she asked more specifically if Geick had kicked the dogs and he nodded.

Police arrived shortly after and took Geick into custody under a mental health warrant after he told them he'd had suicidal thoughts.

Previous incidents

In an interview with police after his arrest, Geick admitted to physically harming the dogs and using electrical tape to muzzle them but downplayed the degree to which he harmed the animals, according to the prosecutor's opening statement.

In cross-examination, Smith told defence lawyer Efrayim Moldofsky that Geick could be emotionally abusive and controlling.

Smith that said after two previous incidents with Geick — one where he brought Sophie home with bruises on her belly and another where he dragged Sophie upstairs by a choke chain — she "had concerns."

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Bernette Ho is presiding over the six-day trial.