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Man sentenced to six months in dog's death

June 02, 2009|By ERIN JULIUS

A Hagerstown man must spend about six months in jail after a judge Monday found him guilty of two counts of animal cruelty, court records show.

Joshua L. Roberts was watching his girlfriend's 13-week-old cocker spaniel, court records show. When she returned from work, she found the dog lying on the floor unable to move, court records show. A veterinarian said the dog had severe blunt-force trauma to its head, court records show.

The dog died Sept. 27, 2008, after a second incident, court records show.

Roberts called his girlfriend to tell her something was wrong with the puppy, named Lily. He told her it died from drinking soapy water during a bath, court records show.

A veterinarian performed a necropsy and found burn marks on the corners of the dog's mouth and said the dog's death was probably due to electrocution.

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Roberts, 27, on Monday requested a trial by judge.

Prosecutors dropped a malicious destruction of property charge.

Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III acquitted him of two counts of mutilating an animal but found Roberts guilty of two counts of animal cruelty.

He sentenced Roberts to the maximum jail time allowed by law -- 90 days for each animal cruelty conviction.

Roberts was being held Tuesday evening at the Washington County Detention Center, a deputy said.

-- Erin Julius

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