Butler County's great daily newspaper

Lawyer in sledgehammer attack on dog case asks to restart in lower court

February 14, 2020 News Extra

The defense lawyer for a West Virginia man accused of animal abuse is asking the case to be taken back to square one after prosecutors refiled a previously dismissed felony charge in December.

John G. Riordan, 47, of Rock Cave, was initially charged Sept. 23 with several charges, including felony aggravated animal cruelty, for allegedly attacking a 13-year-old Spaniel with a sledgehammer in Summit Township.

But during a preliminary hearing in October, former Assistant District Attorney Russ Karl agreed to drop the felony charge to a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty and move the case on to common pleas court.

Karl's former boss, District Attorney Richard Goldinger, did not approve of the decision and Goldinger refiled the original charges Dec. 12 in common pleas court.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that will appear in Sunday's Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article.