Nov. 26-CLINTON - A Clinton man has been charged with second-degree criminal mischief in connection with the fatal shooting of his neighbor's dog.
Dean W. Keegan, 55, was taken into custody Monday and transported to Clinton County Jail, where he was held on $5,000 bond on the charge as well as an additional $2,000 bond on a charge of reckless use of a firearm.
The criminal mischief charge is a Class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
According to court documents, Clinton police were called to a residence on U.S. 67 north of Clinton at 10:39 p.m. Sunday. The caller had stated that their neighbor, Keegan, had shot and killed their dog, a 150-pound Bouvier des Flandres named Pluto.
Upon arriving at the residence, Clinton County sheriff's deputies met Rhonda Hartsock and Jason Clark, the dog's owner, at the end of the driveway. Clark told them that Keegan had threatened to shoot his dogs in the past, according to court records.
A deputy asked Hartsock and Clark to go inside their house before he then made contact with Keegan, who told the deputies he thought he'd shot a coyote near a gut pile behind his home, according to court records.
A deputy reported the deceased dog was located near the gut pile in Keegan's yard and probable cause was determined because, from the deputy's experience, the animal did not resemble a coyote due to its size and ear style. He also reported the dog had no tail and a collar and tags on around its neck that constituted the dog as Clark's property.
A deputy conferred with Clinton County Attorney Mike Wolf upon arriving at Clinton County Jail with Keegan in custody to determine the correct charge for the situation, as the dog would cost approximately $3,500 to replace, according to court records.
Keegan was served a temporary no-contact order in protection of Hartsock and Clark. He was soon after released from custody under the supervision of terms set by the supervising officer.
Keegan will be represented by court-appointed attorney Mary Wolfe at a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 9.