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Man sentenced to weekend jail time for trying to kill dogs with sponges

April 22, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Keedysville man was sentenced Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to 10 weekends in jail after pleading guilty to trying to kill dogs with sponges covered with chicken gravy.

Joseph Wade Wagner, 35, of 5132 Porterstown Road, pleaded guilty to attempted cruelty to animals and disorderly conduct. In exchange for his plea, a charge of resisting arrest was dismissed.

Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. sentenced Wagner to 90 days in jail, but suspended all but 20 days, which he is to serve on weekends.

The incident happened June 6, 2012, at Wagner’s former residence on the 800 block of Mulberry Avenue in Hagerstown, Deputy State’s Attorney Joseph Michael told Long. Wagner was heard yelling at someone to get off his property when Hagerstown police officers arrived to investigate a report of a disturbance, Michael said.

There were sponges in Wagner’s yard covered with chicken gravy and Wagner told officers they were intended to kill the dogs when they were eaten, Michael said.

“Wagner openly admitted to all officers on the scene that he hates the neighbor’s dogs and he put small sponges in his yard in which he put chicken gravy on them hoping the dogs would eat them and die,” the statement of probable cause said.

Wagner resisted being handcuffed and one of the officers had to “administer knee strikes” to get him to the ground, the charging document said.

Wagner told the arresting officers that “the Internet is his friend” and said to them “I got your family,” the charging document said.

“Mr. Wagner would acknowledge alcohol was a factor in this incident,” Assistant Public Defender Robert Sheehan told Long.

“The neighbors have dogs that were defecating in his yard,” Sheehan added.

Wagner intended to sign up for an alcohol abuse program with the county Health Department, Sheehan told Long.

“You think you’ve got a problem with alcohol?” Long asked Wagner. He then asked why Wagner had gone months without having enrolled in the program.

Wagner told Long he had been sober for about six months.

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