ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The St. Clairsville man who confessed to shooting and killing a former Quaker City resident’s dogs during the 2016 deer-gun season was sentenced Monday to six months in jail and ordered to pay a $2,500 fine for his crimes.
Michael Chedester, 60, previously 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.
Chedester was also placed on three years of probation as part of the sentence.
Chedester avoided a trial when he pleaded guilty earlier this month to the charges filed against him under Goddard’s Law.
In April, a Belmont County Common Pleas Court judge 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.
Chedester said in court that he believed at the time that he had the right to shoot the dogs as they were chasing deer on his hunting property near St. Clairsville.
Byers said he hopes the attention this case brought will prevent similar incidents in the future. He said he had to suffer a lot of sleepless nights and stress for no reason.
Chedester was given the option to perform 500 hours of community serve at the Belmont County animal shelter or make a $5,000 donation to the facility. He also agreed to pay $200 toward restitution to Byers.
Chedester could face up to two years in prison if he violates the terms of his sentence.
As a result of the incident, Chedester lost his job with American Electric Power.