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Man held in dog deaths committed

October 04, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

An 18-year-old Keedysville man charged as a juvenile in connection with the deaths of 10 puppies and an adult dog was committed Friday to a state psychiatric hospital by a Washington County judge, an assistant state prosecutor said.

At a juvenile court detention hearing, Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley ordered the man committed to the Thomas B. Finan Center in Cumberland, Md., for an evaluation, Assistant State's Attorney Steven C. Kessell said.

The hospital must submit a report on the evaluation to the judge before the man's adjudication hearing later this month. The hearing is the equivalent of a trial in an adult proceeding.

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Police filed charges against the man Sept. 23. He has since turned 18, but remains charged as a juvenile. Because he is charged as a juvenile, his name is not being published.

Kessell said charges were formalized against the man earlier this week. He is charged with 12 counts of felony animal cruelty and 12 counts of misdemeanor malicious destruction of property.

The maximum penalty for someone who has been charged as a juvenile is he can be monitored by the state Department of Juvenile Services until he is 21, which includes the possibility of being placed in a detention facility.

According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, police were called to a Mansfield Road home in Keedysville about 5 p.m. Sept. 23 when residents there, who are relatives of the accused man, discovered their deceased pets.

Police said someone used a shovel to kill 10 5-week-old puppies and used a small-caliber rifle to shoot two adult dogs in the head.

A female adult dog died as a result of her wounds, but the male adult dog lived.

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