Clinton man pleads guilty to shooting and killing family dog

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Clinton man has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting the family's dog in April.

William Richerson, of Clinton, pleaded guilty in Oneida County Court in Utica on Tuesday to felony aggravated cruelty to an animal and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Richerson is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17.

Richerson fired two shots into the head of the family's Jack Russell terrier named Sam on April 5 in the family's basement, prosecutors say. When Richerson's wife called the police to respond, they were led to a gun cabinet which contained several firearms, including a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol and a .380-caliber Colt semi-automatic pistol.

Richerson did not have a license for those firearms, the Oneida County District Attorney's Office said.

Although the felony aggravated cruelty to an animal can be punished by local jail time, as per the Agriculture and Markets law, the violent felony firearms charge carries a state prison sentence.

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