Joel T. Jackson, 50, of Manchester has a curious defense after he shot and killed a one-year dog named Chincee because he has an abnormal fear of dogs. His counsel added that “He was surprised a BB gun would have that kind of effect.” He could receive as much as six months for the killing. Notably, however, the intentional shooting of a family pet remains only a misdemeanor — given less protection than breaking into a shed and stealing property.
A witness told police that she saw Jackson walk up to the family’s fence and fire the weapon. She heard a dog yelping in pain. Jackson reportedly had a hood over his head and ran down the street. She followed him to his house and confronted him, saying that she saw what he did. He went inside his house and police were called. At first, Jackson denied the shooting but later insisted that he simply was afraid of dogs. The feeling is now mutual I am sure.
His lawyer praised the judge for dropping a more serious charged and insisted he admitted being guilty (of animal cruelty). He says that he has an abnormal fear of dogs, and that the dog scared him. He kind of went off the deep end a little bit. … But he maintains he did not recklessly endanger anybody, and the good judge agreed with him.” However, the dog was not known to have escaped his yard before he executed the animal.
Notably, however, Jackson destroyed the weapon after shooting the German shepherd/boxer mix. There is an added twist to the sentencing for November. If the judge decides that the BB gun is a deadly weapon, Jackson would be subject to an enhanced sentencing. However, deadly is generally defined in terms of humans not pets.
Chincee was known to put her paws on the fence to be petted by people going by, according to the family. They believe that is what she was doing when Jackson shot her.
While his lawyer insists that he has “remorse,” he reportedly lied to police, evaded witnesses, and may have destroyed the weapon. With all of that and killing a family pet, he is looking only at a misdemeanor — just another example of how little protection is afforded to pets in this country.
Source: York Dispatch