A Macomb County man charged with torturing and killing a dog in Utica has pleaded no contest.

Fox 2 reports that Alexander Gerth will be sentenced on April 23, but will not be subject to the harsher animal cruelty laws that will take effect in Michigan later this month. Gerth was arrested and charged with the killing of Sterling, a pit bull mix that was found stabbed to death at Grant Park in Utica on January 24. Gerth would have faced 10 years in prison under the new laws. It’s currently not known what his actual sentence will be.

Gerth was originally denied adopting Sterling from MHS, who then had his friend adopt the dog for him without disclosing that reason to the organization. Sterling’s adopter told police that Sterling was stolen from his home the day before his body was found. He was not named as a suspect in the case.

“Rest assured that there will be no plea bargaining in the case,” Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith said at the time of Gerth’s arraignment. “We have charged Gerth with most severe charge on the books, and we will be asking for the maximum possible sentence provided under the law. There is no doubt that there needs to be tougher laws addressing animal abuse.”

HB 4332 and HB 4333 will become effective March 20 and March 28, respectively.