WAUSAU — A 23-year-old Rothschild man remains jailed on felony charges after he allegedly snapped the neck of his girlfriend’s Yorkshire terrier during an argument, killing the animal.

Matthew R. Newton faces charges filed Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court of mistreating an animal resulting in death, a felony with a maximum penalty of 3 1/2 years in the Wisconsin Prison System. Newton also faces a charge of domestic disorderly conduct in connection with the case.

Police were called in the early morning hours of Feb. 4 to a Rothschild home, where a woman said her boyfriend, Newton, were in the midst of an argument about her contact with a Madison man when Newton grabbed the dog and threw it against the wall, according to the criminal complaint.

Then, the woman told police, Newton picked up the dog again, intentionally snapped the dog’s neck and threw him against the wall a second time. The woman said she knew at that point that her pet, named Willard McGee, would not survive.

During an initial appearance Monday, Marathon County Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson ordered Newton held on a $5,000 bond, the first $1,000 of which must be paid in cash. Newton remained in custody Friday afternoon.

A preliminary hearing on the matter is set for Feb. 21.