The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

November 9, 2012

Charges dismissed against Colebrook Township man accused of shooting dogs

JEFFERSON — Animal cruelty charges against a Colebrook Township man were dismissed Thursday afternoon in Eastern County Court immediately prior to closing arguments in a two day trial, according to court records and attorneys involved in the case.

Walter Pace, 66, of Storey Road, was charged with two counts of needless killing/commiting act of cruelty to a companion animal after the alleged April 15 shooting of a seven month-old beagle and a five year old St. Bernard mix, according to court records and Ashtabula County Sheriff’s reports.

The two charges were first degree misdemeanors with the possibility of a six month jail term for each charge.

 The dogs had wandered away from their home, according to Linda and Steve Richards who owned the dogs. Sheriff’s reports indicate the dogs were shot on Mains Road.

Eastern Court Judge Robert S. Wynn filed a judgment entry Wednesday afternoon stating that the two amended complaints, regarding the animal charges, were missing the word “knowingly” which was necessary for prosecution.

The judgment entry also states that Wynn overruled a motion from the prosecution seeking the ability to verbally amend the state’s complaint.

Ashtabula County Assistant Prosecutor Bret Hartup said he would be looking into whether the charges can be refiled. He said he could not comment any further on the case.

Pace’s attorney, Leo J. Talikka, said the word “knowingly” was missing from the complaint and was an essential element to the case.

Talikka said he believes the case should be dismissed with prejudice (meaning the charges could not be refiled) because it would be double jeopardy since the trial had already commenced to closing arguments.

“He’s just happy it is over for the time being,” Talikka said of Pace.

Michael Dylan Brennan, an attorney representing the Richards family, sat through the case and was surprised by the ruling.

“Obviously the Richards are disappointed that the case was dismissed but they are still hopeful that something can be done by the prosecutor’s office,” he said.

“He still needs to be held accountable for what he admitted on the stand,” Brennan said. He said the family has not ruled out the possibility of a civil suit.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man