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Clinton man to spend two years in prison after shooting family dog

By JOLEEN FERRIS

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - A Clinton man heard his sentence in Oneida County Court Tuesday for shooting and killing the family dog.

It was April when William Richerson took the family dog, a Jack Russell Terrier named Sam, into the basement and shot him twice in the head. Why he did such a thing remains unclear.

At the time, Richerson told police it was his dog and he felt he could do what he wanted to it. Subsequently, Richerson told probation officials that the dog was old and becoming bothersome and starting to annoy his wife.

Prosecutors in court Tuesday, though, said an autopsy showed the dog was a healthy animal.

Prosecutor Kara Wilson, of the Oneida County District Attorney's Office, says this case drew attention from all over the world, and that the worldwide exposure, in her estimation, is a good thing.

"If you went online, there were blogs not only in Oneida County, but actually other countries as well," Wilson said. "London had covered this story, a few other countries had picked it up, and again, the good thing about the news being so viral, is that a lot more people are made aware of exactly what is going on out there and that there are ramifications to people's actions."

Authorities say the gun he used to shoot the dog with were not licensed firearms.

Richerson will face two years in prison for illegal gun possession charges. He also faces one year for an aggravated animal cruelty charge. However, he will serve those sentences concurrently, which will result in a total of two years in prison.

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