(Marne) The Cass County man on trial today for animal abuse in the December 24, 2012 shooting of a dog that had wandered onto his property was found guilty in Cass County District Court today.
The seven member jury consisting of 7-women and five-men deliberated for approximately 30-minutes before finding Charles Collins Cutler, of Marne guilty of animal abuse.
The dog, “Wrigley,” owned by Stacey Ernat of Denver, Colorado, was playing with her boyfriend’s brother’s dog when the incident occurred at the Cutler residence. Ernat and Brandon Petersen were visiting Brandon Petersen’s’ family at the time and were packing to leave for Illinois when the incident occurred. The Chocolate Lab died at a local Animal Clinic shortly there after.
"I think that this sends a message that it is absolutley not okay for people to abuse animals, and Iowa ranks at the bottom of the list in animal rights and abuse laws," stated Ernat, after the verdict. "I just hope people realize that it is not okay."
Collins Cutler and his attorney Andrew Knuth had no comment following the verdict.
Sentencing is set for May 6. Animal abuse is an aggravated misdemeanor and the maximum sentence is not to exceed two-years in the state Penitentiary and a fine not to exceed $6,000.00.
April 16, 2013