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Man convicted in hunting violations case

January 27, 1998

Man convicted in hunting violations case

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

A Washington County Circuit jury heard a day of testimony and deliberated for several hours Monday before convicting a Sharpsburg man of several hunting violations.

The jury acquitted Joshua Boyd Cook, 21, of the more serious charges of mutilation of an animal and negligent hunting in the December 1996 incident in which a dog was shot and seriously wounded.

Judge Kennedy Boone fined Cook $250 and placed him on probation for three years for not wearing fluorescent orange and for hunting without written permission.

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He also sentenced Cook to 75 days in jail for an unrelated violation of probation on a prior drug conviction. Cook was given credit for 34 days already served.

The Dec. 10, 1996, incident involved the shooting of a dog named Reba, a family pet of the Corcoran family, who own a farm off Burnside Bridge Road.

Ann Corcoran testified she heard shots and ran into one of her fields to find Reba had been shot through the side.

Corcoran said she ran back to her house to get help and returned to pick up the dog and rush her to Dr. Richard Garcia, the family's veterinarian.

She said she didn't see who shot the dog.

Dwight Mumma testified he was preparing to hunt on a neighboring farm that day when he also heard shots and saw Cook come out of the woods on the Corcoran farm, from the direction of the shots.

Mumma also said he didn't see Cook shoot the dog.

Mumma said that while Cook denied shooting the dog, he said that he thought "you could shoot dogs that were running deer."

Cook testified his .30-30 rifle was fully loaded when he came out of the woods that day and was confronted by Mumma, thus indicating he hadn't fired a shot.

"I heard the shots too and then I came out of the woods and saw an animal lying there," Cook said. He admitted raising his gun but said he lowered it when he realized the animal was a dog.

Cook said he didn't see any other hunters around that day nor did he see any other cars parked in the area. He also said he had intended to stay and hunt until dark but left after the confrontation with Mumma.

He denied shooting the dog.

The dog underwent abdominal surgery and recovered. The vet bill was over $2,000.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Joe Michael prosecuted the case. Gregory Bannon was the defense attorney.

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