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Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - Page updated at 03:05 P.M.
Men to face animal cruelty charges for allegedly using dog as target
By Christine Clarridge
Defense attorneys had unsuccessfully argued in court today that prosecutors had not accused Steven Paulson, 21, and Troy Loney, 19 of intentionally and purposefully torturing the Siberian husky the young men are alleged to have shot March 8.
The dog's body was never recovered. Paulson and Loney told police that after the dog died, they threw the body in a river.
Prosecutors, who are charging the two with first-degree animal cruelty, say in court documents that they have a witness who claims the men shot the dog more than a half-dozen times with a single arrow, which they removed and reused.
The defense claims the two shot the arrow only twice and were merely trying to put a sick stray out of its misery.
The case has drawn international attention and sparked outrage within animal rights communities, which launched a letter-writing and Internet campaign urging prosecutors to seek the maximum penalty of five years in prison against the two.
This morning, the Pierce County Superior courtroom of Judge Thomas J. Felnagle CQwas filled with animal rights activists - including members of Pasado's Safe Haven, Progressive Animal Welfare Society and a number of local humane groups - who were to show support for the criminal prosecution of the two men.
"It's beastly and horrible what they did," said Wendy Stidman CQof Sammamish.
In a request for a $5,000 bail on each defendant earlier this year, Prosecutor Dennis Ashman said Paulson had two previous convictions, one for burglary and one for forgery. Loney had previous convictions for child molestation and for carrying a loaded weapon.
If convicted, the two face a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine each.
Prosecutors, however, say a sentence of less than a year would be more likely.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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