Sunday, July 20, 2003

Man jailed for killing dog that bit his son

Order to remove pit bull ignored

The Associated Press

TROY, Ohio - A man who hanged his pit bull terrier after it bit his 2-year-old son was sent to jail for 90 days and fined $100.

Otis Jones, 21, of Troy, was sentenced Friday in Miami County Municipal Court. In June, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor cruelty to animals after charges of failing to insure a vicious dog and a rabies quarantine violation were dropped.

Judge Michael Hemm said he still would consider reducing the sentence to house arrest.

The 2-year-old was taken to a hospital April 22 after he suffered a lip laceration when he climbed on a couch the dog was sitting on, said Pat Armstrong, director of an animal shelter.

The dead dog was discovered after the hospital staff reported the boy's injury to the shelter.

Hemm scolded Jones for disobeying an earlier court order to get rid of the dog. A judge made that demand in 2001 after Jones was charged with a misdemeanor animal-fighting charge.

Jones denied the dog was ever involved in fighting.

"If I could take it all back, I would," Jones told the judge. "I acted out of anger. There's no excuse for that."

Defense lawyer Andrew Pratt told Hemm that Jones failed to take prescribed medications the day of the hanging and is undergoing psychological counseling.

Troy is about 20 miles north of Dayton.

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