A man has pleaded no contest to hacking his pet mastiff to death with an ax.Mark Merjil, 41, entered the plea to one count of felony animal cruelty in San Mateo County Superior Court.Under the plea deal, prosecutors promised he would face no more than a year in jail.

He faced up to three years for the attack if convicted by a jury.Authorities said Merjil and his girlfriend were arguing in their trailer on March 29 when the dog, named Titan, bit the woman's head. Merjil was accused of killing the dog with repeated ax blows.