Man not guilty in deaths of 2 pugs

Post Tribune (Sunday) - - News - By Amy Laval­ley Post-Tri­bune

Ju­rors spent about an hour de­lib­er­at­ing Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon be­fore rul­ing a Ham­mond man was not guilty on two felony counts of killing a do­mes­tic an­i­mal in the deaths of two pugs killed in Porter Town­ship ear­lier this year.

The trial of An­thony Pri­es­tas, 24, of the 600 block of Lo­cust Street, was held this week be­fore Porter Su­pe­rior Court Judge David Chidester.

A court of­fi­cial said Pri­es­tas re­mains in the Porter County Jail and has a change-of-plea hear­ing sched­uled for 1:30 p.m. Dec. 6 be­fore Chidester in two ad­di­tional, un­re­lated cases.

When Pri­es­tas was ar­rested March 6 on charges of killing the dogs, he was out on bond from a May 2017 mis­de­meanor charge of do­mes­tic bat­tery in­volv­ing a girl­friend in Boone Grove, and a July 2017 felony charge of break­ing and en­ter­ing a Val­paraiso res­i­dence, ac­cord­ing to court records.

He also faces felony charges of bur­glary, res­i­den­tial en­try and theft in Lake Su­pe­rior Court in the case in­volv­ing the pugs.

Andy Kyres, Pri­es­tas’ at­tor­ney, had ar­gued that Pri­es­tas had an al­ibi and was with his grand­mother’s fi­ance dur­ing the al­leged crime.

Dur­ing tes­ti­mony Mon­day in the three-day trial, Wil­liam and Clau­dia Tay- lor, who pur­chased the pugs, Mar­ley and Mugsy, as Christ­mas gifts for their chil­dren and whose daugh­ter Brandy Or­tiz briefly dated Pri­es­tas, fought back tears as they viewed pic­tures of the dogs.

Amy Laval­ley is a free­lance reporter for the Post-Tri­bune.


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