Appeals court affirms conviction in dog killing
A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a Pine Bush man’s conviction for fatally shooting his roommate’s dog in 2015.
The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Third Department, unanimously affirmed the April 2016 conviction of Eric Napoli, 47. He had been found guilty by an Ulster County Court jury of the felony of aggravated cruelty to animals and sentenced by County Judge Donald A. Williams to two years in the county jail, the maximum allowed by law.
In his appeal, Napoli challenged the legal sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction and argued he was denied meaningful representation, according to the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office. Napoli also claimed the county court improperly responded to a jury question during deliberations.
The appeals court rejected each of the claims and affirmed the conviction.
Napoli was arrested by the Shawangunk Police Department on April 19, 2015, in connection with the fatal shooting three days earlier of this roommate’s 6-yearold Husky, Luna.
According to the appellate ruling, Napoli acknowledged he intentionally killed Luna by shooting the healthy dog in the shoulder and chest with a shotgun. According to Napoli, the ruling said, he came home on April 16, 2015, to find Luna had killed his cat. Napoli became enraged and took Luna outside, then informed his roommate, Carol Weller, that he would kill Luna unless she retrieved the dog and took it to a pound, the ruling stated.
After arriving home and while packing a bag to leave with Luna, Weller heard a gunshot and a yelp, followed by a second shot a few seconds later, the ruling stated.