April 17, 2014

Elyria
Mostly clear
39°F
test

Man found guilty in dog stabbing

OBERLIN — Gerald Miller, the man accused of stabbing a dog to death in Amherst, pleaded no contest and was found guilty Thursday of one count of animal cruelty in Oberlin Municipal Court.

Gerald Miller, left, appears in court with his attorney, Gerald Smith.

Gerald Miller, left, appears in court with his attorney, Gerald Smith.

Miller did not comment during the trial, but he acknowledged that the charge carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. Miller, of Lakewood, will not be sentenced until a presentence investigation is completed.

A hearing on the sentencing will be at 11:15 a.m. July 18.

On March 10, Miller, who was walking his daughter’s white Pomeranian on the sidewalk of Red Tailed Lane in Amherst, fatally stabbed a chow-shepherd mix owned by Robert Danicki and his family.

The dog, Maya, was rushed to a vet, but she died on the way there with a wound from a pocket knife that Miller had been carrying. Danicki said in an earlier interview that he witnessed the incident, and, while the dogs were barking at each other, there was nothing that prompted the stabbing.

Miller told police a different story.

He said Maya attacked the pomeranian and later turned on him when he tried to intervene. He stabbed the dog in self-defense, he said.

Neighbors said, however, that Maya was obedient and well-mannered. Police said neither Miller nor the pomeranian was wounded.

The case attracted the attention of the Nitro Foundation, a group pushing to create a first-offense felony charge for those convicted of animal abuse.

Group member Michael Smeck, who was at Thursday’s hearing, said he will petition Judge Thomas Januzzi for the maximum sentence in the case.

On Thursday afternoon, a petition created on www.change.org already had more than 60 signatures.

Danicki said he hopes the judge will consider maximum charges.

“We’re glad that he was found guilty, and we hope he’s sentenced to as much as he can get,” he said.

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.

  • SweetScarlet

    Yet ANOTHER example of how Ohio needs to set a priority againt animal cruelty. We cannot tolerate these vicious attacks. This man needs to be charged to the fullest extent of the law, to set an example. These senseless crimes against animals need to be stopped.

  • sueishere

    He needs physiological help!

  • Mike Smeck

    Check it out 8,418+ signatures – https://www.change.org/petitions/oberlin-municipal-court-judge-thomas-a-januzzi-sentence-gerald-miller-to-the-maximum-allowable-by-law#share – Let’s make it 10,000!!! People are sick and tired of seeing the abuse against companion animals…It is sickening!!!

    • Lindsay Falk

      Over 60 it says in the article. LOL

      • Lindsay Falk

        10,000 it will be @Mike Smeck… #justsiceformya@justiceforherbie

  • Sha Sha Viruet

    Another slap on the wrist! The man needs to be used an example that animal abuse will NOT be tolerated! He needs the maximum sentence!

  • Lindsay Falk

    Asking the judge to maximize Miller’s sentence for this callous, heartless and heinous crime! Please make an example out of this guy! What kind of psycho does this type of thing to a family pet? Let alone with his own CHILD present. He is a danger to his family, his own pet and everyone in society. We all know animal cruelty often leads to more serious crimes against women and children and his actions should not be taken lightly.

  • Joyce Caldwell

    As stated many times before, the connection between cruelty to animals and humans is a proven fact. History has proven it so. Let this heartless piece of flesh, in fact, be an example of our laws punishing such henious acts. And may our judicial system get it’s act together, along with the lawmakers we elect to office to represent us, and make these cold hearted monsters pay such severe punishment it will speak loudly to let otherslike him know we will not stand for it!

  • jz

    90 DAYS NO EARLY RELEASE.

  • Beth Sheehan

    Animal cruelty, clustered with other behaviors, is a red flag for other serious problems. This is judiciously being noted in legislatures across the nation. Connecticut state representative, Diana Urban has ushered in legislation to cross reference cases of animal abuse and child abuse. In addition, Representative Urban speaks to “the link between animal cruelty and future violent behavior. It is an early warning sign of mental instability. All seven school shooters between 1998 and 2007 engaged in animal cruelty before going to their respective high schools and injuring or murdering their fellow students.”

    The Phoenix City Council just enacted stronger animal welfare legislation. One of the components is that an individual convicted of animal abuse, who also owns 10 or more animals, must undergo a psychological examination.

    Ohio is ranked 34th in the nation on animal protections by the Animal League Defense Fund. Ohio voters need to get informed about our current laws and then must vote in a legislature that works towards a more humane and civil society.

  • Brian Yearley

    LOCK THIS FOOL UP ! PLEASE !!!

  • Aimee

    He deserves the maximum that the state allows, and the state needs stronger penalties to protect it’s companion animals.

  • Jim Dandee

    Okay so all you animal rights people need to jump on the wagon and try to “save” the akita that mauled a six year-old in Lorain friday….. Dog warden was asked to euthanize by the owner…

    • JimDandeeSucks

      He pleaded NO CONTEST! Douchebag, that’s the Coward’s way of saying, Duh! I’m Guilty! Just doesn’t have the “nads” to say it…..

    • Lindsay Falk

      Yeaaaah that makes sense Jim. Man has the ability to reason. I’m willing to bet that 6 year old provoked it… be responsible parents and pet owners and this type of thing won’t happen. My dog doesn’t like kids. We keep children away from him. Period.

      • Lindsay Falk

        OH and come to find out I was right!!! The kid was asked not to play with the dog several times. The owner was irresponsible by allowing the child anywhere near the dog. And where was this kid’s parents? SMH is everyone this dumb in LOCO?