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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Defendant sentenced to 180 days for shooting dog

  • A man has received a 180-day jail sentence and probation for shooting a dog in Leavenworth.
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  • A man has received a 180-day jail sentence and probation for shooting a dog in Leavenworth.
    Joshua G. Elliott, 24, was sentenced Wednesday in Leavenworth County District Court for one felony count of cruelty to animals. He will be allowed to have work release during the first part of his jail sentence and serve the remainder of it under house arrest.
    Elliott, who now lives in Overland Park, pleaded guilty to the charge Aug. 29.
    He was arrested July 8 by Leavenworth police after a wounded dog was found in the 1500 block of Choctaw Street.
    According to testimony during a July 18 preliminary hearing, Elliott told police he had pointed a gun at a dog at what was his residence, forgetting there was a bullet in the chamber of the firearm.
    Assistant County Attorney Sherri Becker, who prosecuted the case, argued during the preliminary hearing that police found the gun in a condition that suggested the dog was shot intentionally.
    "I'm sorry for what happened," Elliott said during Wednesday's sentencing hearing.
    He also said he's sorry for all the time and money the case has caused.
    Defense attorney Nathan Owings said Elliott has accepted responsibility. The attorney said his client is embarrassed and remorseful.
    Owings said the recommendations for sentencing in a plea agreement reached between the defense and prosecution was adequate punishment. He said the conditions of the agreement also would allow Elliott to continue his employment.
    In imposing the sentence, District Judge Gunnar Sundby followed the recommendations of a plea agreement.
    Sundby sentenced Elliott to the 180 days in jail, giving the defendant credit for 10 days he'd already spent in custody. The judge said Elliott can have work release for the first 80 days of the remainder of the jail sentence. For the last 90 days, he can be under house arrest.
    Elliott then will have to be on probation for nine months. He also will have to pay a $2,500 fine.
    He was ordered to have mental health and substance abuse evaluations and follow the recommendations.
    While on probation, Elliott is not supposed to live in a home with animals or attempt to own or take care of animals.
    Elliott had been free on bond. But he surrendered to officers from the Leavenworth County Jail Wednesday to begin serving his sentence.
    Gerald Halstead also faces a felony charge of cruelty to animals in connection to the dog that was found wounded. Halstead is accused of carrying the dog to a wooded area after it had been shot.
    The dog reportedly was found in a trash bag. It was still alive, but police decided to put down the animal.
    Halstead's case is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 9.
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