John C. Stover must serve time for firing the shotgun that blinded his neighbors’ dog, but must also be available to care for his aging parents, Shawnee County District Court Judge Rachel said Wednesday Pickering.
He consequently sentenced Stover to one year in the Shawnee County Jail before having his sentence suspended and ordering him to serve three days in that jail, then spend the remainder of the one-year period on probation.
Pickering also ordered Stover, 61, of Silver Lake, to pay restitution totaling $8,623.52 to cover medical bills, loss of income suffered by the dog’s owners as a result of Stover’s crime, and the value of the dog, whose name is Lucy.
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DA: Stover ‘doesn’t really take’ responsibility for the crime
Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay said Stover fired a shotgun on August 6, 2020, that blinded Lucy, a red Irish setter who had entered Stover’s property at 5329 NW Hunter Road.
Kagay said Lucy hid under a shed before being hit by several pellets from a rifle fired by Stover.
Lucy, a hunting dog, was 18 months old when she was shot. She is now 4 years old, she remains blind and lives with her owners, Dian and Mark Workman.
The Workmans had requested compensation to cover the value of the training Lucy received from Mark Workman, but Pickering did not charge Stover.
Kagay’s office in 2020 charged Stover with criminal animal cruelty, claiming he knowingly, unlawfully and maliciously harmed the dog.
Stover pleaded guilty Sept. 22 to a Class A felony of animal cruelty as he said he knowingly and unlawfully harmed the dog, but not intentionally.
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“She’s not the same, and neither are we”
Kagay on Wednesday asked Pickering to sentence Stover to the maximum allowable prison sentence of one year. He suggested that Stover “wasn’t really” accepting responsibility for his crime.
Stover asked Wednesday not to be sentenced to prison, saying it was necessary to run his farm and care for his father, who is 95, and his mother, who is nearly 92.
Before handing down the sentence, Pickering also heard from Dian Workman.
“We lost a beautiful member of our family that day,” she said. “She’s not the same, and neither are we.”
Contact Tim Hrenchir at [email protected] and 785-213-5934.