(ATLANTIC) The trial of the State vs. Charles Collins Cutler began just at 11:00 this morning. Cutler, from the Cass County community of Marne, is on trial on a charge of animal abuse in an incident that occurred on December 24, 2012 in Marne. A dog owned by Stacey Ernat, of Denver, Colorado, was playing with another dog when it wandered onto Cutler’s property. Cutler is accused of shooting the dog, a Chocolate Labe names Wrigley. Cutler Pleaded Guilty.
The following are opening arguments from the trial this morning…
“Those dogs proceeded toward the church and ultimately toward the property owned by Mr. Charles Collins Cutler when one of the family members in this case recognized that the dogs had escaped and within a period of a few minutes took the responsible actions as these people are,” said Dan Fiestner, Prosecuting Attoney . “They proceeded to go after the dogs, two of them which had escaped, and by the time Jeremy had gotten there… here is a shot of what appears a gun coming from a household located where Mr. Charles Collins Cutler lives and resides. Upon hearing that and seeing smoke coming out of the back of the door, proceeds to see one of the two animals, which in this case was Wrigley, on or near the back of the Cutler residence. The dog in question, that was on or near the Cutler property at the time, was shot in the rear.”
“You will hear testimony from Jeremy Petersen, Brandon Peterson and Stacey Ernat that they didn’t see anything, that they weren’t there when the incident occurred,” said Andrew Knuth, Defense Attorney.