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Wednesday, May 19, 2004County: Jackson
Defendant/Suspect: Robert Earl Ward
Case Updates: 2 update(s) available
A Jackson man was charged with five felony counts of animal cruelty after authorities allege he poisoned and killed five dogs.
Robert Earl Ward, 50, is accused of giving antifreeze to four Chihuahua mixed breed dogs and a Chow mix.
Three dogs died after ingesting lethal amounts of the toxic radiator fluid. Two animals linked to the case died Monday, bringing the total to five, said David Lady, chief assistant prosecutor.
On Sunday, Ward was arrested after Jackson police were called to 306 Summit Ave., where one dog was already dead and two others were ill, an animal control officer said. The suspect appeared to have been drinking, police said.
For 11/2 years, Ward was living with his brother-in-law at the Summit Avenue residence and was there with the pets when the incident occurred. He made threats in the past about poisoning the dogs and a container of antifreeze was found, police said.
He was on parole after pleading guilty in a November 1998 arson of a home in Jackson.
As part of his release, he was not supposed to drive. He also has an unrelated drunken driving offense pending in District Court.
Animal poisoning cases are often difficult to prosecute unless the suspect makes a statement or a witness comes forward.
"I believe we'll be able to prove it," said Jennifer Miller, assistant prosecuting attorney.
If convicted, the cruelty to animal count carries up to four years in prison.
Ward, who remained in county jail in lieu of $5,000 cash surety bond, has a preliminary exam at 9:30 a.m. May 26, 2004 before District Judge Lysle Hall.
|Ward will spend 300 days in the Jackson County Jail -- and possibly more time in prison -- for killing five dogs left in his care. |
Defense attorney Alfred Brandt said a state parole board is considering whether to take Ward back into the Department of Corrections for violating parole. He served a prison sentence for arson.
Ward did not speak at his sentencing today, and he did not explain his actions at his plea hearing Sept. 24. Police said he admitted to poisoning the dogs "because they deserved it."
|Source: Jackson Citizen Pilot - Oct 20, 2004|
Update posted on Oct 20, 2004 - 10:48AM
|On Wednesday,May 26, 2004, Robert Earl Ward, 50, was ordered to stand trial in Circuit Court on five felony counts related to the May 16, 2004 animal cruelty case.|
Ward remains in Jackson County jail in lieu of $5,000 cash surety bond. His next court date is June 22,2004.
|Update posted on May 27, 2004 - 7:32PM|
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