Milton man guilty in dog shooting

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011
— A Rock County jury convicted a Milton man Tuesday of shooting a dog with a bow and arrow in May.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated about five hours before finding Dale A. Moore, 62, of 7720 N. County KK, guilty of misdemeanor mistreating animals and misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed.

James Morke of Milton was walking his Great Pyrenees dog, Casey, on May 21 along railroad tracks off County KK in Lima Township when Casey was shot with an arrow, attorneys said. Casey had to undergo surgery at an animal hospital but survived.

The trial began Monday, and jurors heard closing statements Tuesday morning before beginning deliberations.

Moore declined to comment after the verdict, citing a pending civil suit.

Morke and his wife, Lynn Morke, have filed a lawsuit against Moore, asking for money for emotional distress and veterinary bills, according to the civil complaint.

Judge Ken Forbeck scheduled sentencing for Tuesday, April 19, but Moore's defense attorney, Tod Daniel, said he would be filing motions within 10 days. Daniel declined to elaborate when asked after the hearing if he would appeal the case.

In closing statements Tuesday morning, Assistant District Attorney Scott Dirks said Moore testified that the arrow he shot at Casey bounced off the dog and got caught up in the dog's fur, and the dog didn't seem to react.

"What does that mean?" Dirks asked the jury.

It means Moore wanted the jury to believe that Morke was lying when he said he tugged the arrow out of his dog's body, Dirks said. It also means Moore wanted the jury to believe a sheriff's deputy and veterinarian were lying when they testified to Casey's injuries, he said.

"He wants you to believe that they're all lying, and he is not," he said.

Dirks said testimony from Morke, the sheriff's deputy and a veterinarian all fit together.

"The only testimony that does not fit in with those three is his," Dirks said, pointing at Moore. "The defendant's."

Daniel said he took umbrage with Dirks' comments, saying he didn't accuse any of the witnesses of lying.

Daniel used links of a chain as an analogy for all the parts the state had to prove to find guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, including that Moore was not acting in self defense and defense of his property.

He said the incident started when Morke decided to trespass on private property, yet the district attorney's office chose to charge Moore.

"(Moore) didn't create any of this. He didn't cause any of this. He was home, and this was put upon him," he said.

Daniel reiterated jury instructions, explaining how the burden of proof was on the state to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

"I submit to you that this room is full of reasonable doubt," he said.

After the incident, the Morkes lobbied lawmakers to make mistreating animals a felony.

Last updated: 4:47 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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