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Inwood man accused of shooting dog arraigned on felony count of animal cruelty

Earl Dean Stegall was also arraigned on one count of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling

January 30, 2013

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — An Inwood, W.Va., man accused of shooting a white pit bull mix dog outside his house earlier this month was arraigned Wednesday on one felony count of animal cruelty in Berkeley County Magistrate Court, according to court documents.

Earl Dean Stegall, 45, of 175 Longwood Drive, also was arraigned by Magistrate Betty Jo Hersh on one count of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, according to court documents.

Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy H.C. Lu said in a criminal complaint that video footage from cameras mounted at Stegall’s home in Timberwood Ridge subdivision show the defendant was facing the dog prior to shooting the animal.

The deputy said Stegall told police that the dog “came up from behind him and appeared aggressive and continued (in) his direction at just a few feet away where he then decided to shoot the dog,” according to court documents.

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Measurements taken by deputies showed that the distance between the defendant and the dog was more than 30 feet, according to court documents.

Stegall, who reported the shooting Jan. 15, told police he was leaving the residence with his wife when she spotted a large brown dog, which reminded him to get his gun out of his truck, court documents state.

Upon retrieving the firearm, Stegall told police that a large white dog came up from behind him, according to court documents.

The dog’s body was found at the bottom of the steps of the back deck of Stegall’s residence, according to court documents.

— Matthew Umstead

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