Thursday, Aug 24, 2017
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Man accused of killing neighbor's dog takes plea deal

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Five-year-old black Labrador retriever named Savage was shot and killed by a neighbor before being hidden in a 55-gallon drum.

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PORT CLINTON — A Carroll Township man who admitted to killing a neighbor’s dog and hiding the body accepted a plea deal.

Paul McKee of West Toussaint North Road pleaded no contest Wednesday to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct with persistence — a fourth-degree misdemeanor — in Ottawa County Municipal Court. He was originally charged with animal cruelty, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Mr. McKee shot and killed Savage, a 5-year-old black Labrador retriever, Dec. 23 and hid the dog’s remains in a 55-gallon drum. He later told Carroll Township police the wandering dog had barked and growled at him, so he went inside to retrieve a shotgun and shot the dog twice from his porch.

Prosecutor James VanEerten said he arranged the deal at the request of Savage’s owners, Leslie Daniel and Craig Porath of North Benton-Carroll Road. He said they did not want to deal with a trial, which had been scheduled to begin Thursday, and just wanted to move on.

The owners could not be reached for comment, but Ms. Daniel thanked the prosecutor and the community in a post on the “Justice for Savage” group on Facebook.

“I don't want the community to think we have given up our fight, but we are exhausted and are trying to move forward in the healthiest way possible,” she said.

She noted the family also did not want to go through a potential appeal, which could drag on throughout the next year to 18 months.

The terms of the plea deal include suspended jail time, 100 hours of community service, and a donation to an animal charity in lieu of restitution, Mr. VanEerten said.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 11.

Contact Alexandra Mester amester@theblade.com419-724-6066 or on Twitter @AlexMesterBlade.

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