Dog shooting case headed to trial
After a one week continuance to consider his options, Josh Hunt, the 20-year-old Truckee man accused of shooting a dog from a nearby residence on Jan. 13, withdrew from a conditional plea agreement on Tuesday in Nevada County Superior Court in Truckee.
Hunt’s withdrawal means the case will likely proceed to a jury trial later this fall.
Superior Court Judge Anders Holmer issued the continuance on July 24 after he indicated he could not accept the terms of the conditional plea agreement, specifically those regarding sentencing. Holmer then indicated he would likely sentence Hunt outside of those guidelines.
Under the plea agreement, Hunt had agreed to plead no contest to one felony count of animal cruelty, provided sentencing did not exceed terms outlined in the plea agreement.
Last week, Holmer said factors he would consider prior to sentencing include the seriousness of the offense, the youthfulness of Hunt, and his lack of prior criminal history as an adult.
Hunt was originally charged with two other felony counts, including grand theft and possession of stolen property. By withdrawing from the plea agreement, those charges may be reinstated in addition to the animal cruelty charge.
Last week, Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Fred Holmes, despite being bound by the terms of the agreement, withdrew his office’s support for the plea agreement, citing “Mr. Hunt’s unwillingness to accept any responsibility for his conduct.”
The attorney for Hunt, John Kennelly, alleged previous attacks by “Oscar,” the mastiff Hunt is accused of killing, against Hunt’s own dog, including “four (attacks) in four months” and that the dog routinely ran loose in the Deerfield Drive neighborhood.
A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. in the Truckee branch of Nevada County Superior Court.
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