PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — A Pittsburgh woman has been convicted of stealing her neighbor’s dog and having it euthanized.
An Allegheny County jury on Friday convicted 58-year-old Gisele Paris on one count each of theft, receiving stolen property and cruelty to animals.
KDKA’s David Highfield has more from the defendant’s cousin:
Prosecutors said Paris took the Siberian husky named Thor on Thanksgiving 2013 because she believed that the dog was being neglected, despite assurances to the contrary from a humane officer.
The owner, who is diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer, says the dog had health problems but wasn’t suffering.
“He was everything I had,” said Mark Boehler, Thor’s owner. “I don’t have no children, so they’re like members of the family. Everybody that has a pet, they know that.”
Police said Paris paid a veterinarian to euthanize the dog in February.
“She was judge, jury and executioner for the dog’s life. She ought to be glad it ain’t gonna go the same way for her,” Boehler said.
Judge Anthony Mariani told Paris she chose death over life, and she should have given the dog back to the owner.
Prosecutors said she did that to “destroy the evidence” of her crimes.
Defense attorney Robert Mielnicki argued that his client may have been misguided but that doesn’t mean she was malicious.
“We can disagree whether she did the right thing. The jury spoke, they found she did the wrong thing, but she’s not a cold-hearted person, or she wouldn’t have been involved in this situation in the first place,” said Mielnicki.
KDKA’s Bob Allen Reports:
She faces a minimum of two years on prison. Her sentencing has been scheduled for March.
Paris is also facing trial on simple assault and resisting arrest charges stemming from a confrontation she had with police officers on the day she was arrested.
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