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Chedester enters pleas in dog shooting incident

By RICK STILLION For The Enterprise Published: May 4, 2017 11:38 AM

ST.

CLAIRSVILLE — A St. Clairsville man avoided a court trial yesterday by entering guilty pleas to crimes charging him with killing a former Quaker City resident’s dogs during the 2016 deer-gun season.

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727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Michael Chedester, 60, pleaded guilty to two counts of knowingly causing serious physical harm to a companion animal, fifth-degree felonies, for shooting and killing Emmy, a 5-year-old Weimaraner, and Bella, a 6-year-old Doberman, who were owned by Peter Byers.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Belmont County Common Pleas Court Judge John Vavra scheduled Chedester’s sentencing hearing for May 22.

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727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Vavra ordered a pre-sentence investigation report be completed and that Chedester be evaluated for placement at the East Ohio Correction Center prior to the sentencing hearing.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">The trial for Chedester was scheduled to begin today.

He previously confessed to Byers that he shot his dogs and offered to buy him new dogs.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">In April, Vavra denied a motion filed by an attorney for Chedester seeking to allow his client to argue he had a right according to Ohio law to shoot the dogs because they were chasing deer on his property.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">The charges were reportedly filed under Goddard’s Law that protects companion animals.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">The dogs were reportedly chasing deer on Chedester’s hunting property near St.

Clairsville when he shot them.

727272033691406px; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 13px; orphans: auto; text-align: justify; text-indent: 12px; text-transform: none; white-space: normal; widows: auto; word-spacing: 0px; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">Chedester faces up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.


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