State v. Stout

958 S.W.2d 32 (1997)

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State v. Stout

Missouri Court of Appeals
958 S.W.2d 32 (1997)

Facts

Peggy Rosenblum adopted a rescue dog named Cody. At some point, Cody escaped his confines and went missing. Dennis Stout (defendant), Rosenblum’s boyfriend, helped her search for the dog. Once the couple found Cody, Stout tied the dog’s leash to the back of his truck and dragged Cody on the mile-long ride home at a speed of approximately 20-25 miles per hour. A witness observed this and called the police. An officer responded and witnessed the event before pulling Stout over. Once stopped, the officer found Cody choking and saw substantial amounts of blood coming from his paws where the road had rubbed them raw. The officer took Cody to a local veterinarian and arrested Stout. The veterinarian found that the padding on Cody’s paws was completely raw and exposed the nerve endings. The State of Missouri (the state) (plaintiff) charged Stout with felony animal abuse under Missouri Revised Statutes Section 578.012.2(2). Under Missouri law, animal abuse is elevated to a felony if there is evidence that the abuse involved was the result of torture or mutilation. At trial, the jury convicted Stout of the charge and sentenced him to six months in jail and to pay a fine. Stout filed a motion for a new trial, which was denied. Stout then appealed, arguing that the state failed to produce sufficient evidence that he mutilated the dog.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ahrens, J.)

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