BIG BEAR – The Big Bear man who drowned his disabled wife and dog in 2012, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on Monday. Ronald Hitchcock, 61, was convicted on January 20, 2018, of second-degree murder and animal cruelty.
In 2012, Hitchcock drove his vehicle into Big Bear Lake with his wife, Deborah Crouch, 52, and Onyx, his black Labrador. Deborah who was disabled, was unable to walk due to an illness. Hitchcock was able to exit the vehicle and swim to safety as his wife and dog died in the quickly sinking vehicle unable to exit. Witnesses nearby reported to police that Hitchcock banged on a chain link fence saying,”She is not going to get out of this one.” Crouch and Onyx were found deceased in the sunken vehicle, Onyx with his head pinned in a partially rolled down window.
The body of Crouch was found bruised, leading the Coroner to believe that she may have been the victim of physical abuse.
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