After deliberating for a little more than two hours, a Merced County jury convicted a father and son of animal cruelty for beating their neighbor’s dog to death with a baseball bat and wooden stake.
Anthony Clendenin, 53, and his son Samuel, 26, are charged with killing a 2-year-old German Shepherd, Kuma, in the backyard of their home on Massasso Court the evening of Jan. 16, 2015.
Both defendants face up to four years in state prison, according to authorities.
Surveillance camera footage of the incident was shown to the court and analyzed by attorneys.
During closing arguments Thursday, defense attorney Bill Davis argued that his client, Anthony Clendenin, acted reasonably under the law. Davis said his client took appropriate steps in this situation.
“The actions that he took were necessary to protect property in his own backyard,” Davis told the jury.
Davis said Anthony Clendenin came to his son’s assistance when he asked for help, and they both dealt with the situation “as they found it.”
“This is a situation where the duties of Kuma’s owners were breached,” Davis said. “This was a dangerous dog on the properties of Anthony Clendenin and Samuel Clendenin.”
Deputy District Attorney Thomas Min, showed the jury a picture of Kuma lying on the ground with blood surrounding him, arguing that beating a dog to death was not considered reasonable force.
Min told the court there was no evidence that the defendants acted in self defense. The surveillance footage showed Kuma run to a corner after he was in the Clendenin yard with his tail between his legs.
“Kuma was in full retreat mode,” Min said.
Samuel had said Kuma was biting his boot. Min showed the jury a picture of the boot and pointed out there was no slobber or bite marks to prove Kuma was attacking him.
They could of easily went inside, called the police, opened the gate to let Kuma out or told the owner, Min said. Instead the Clendenin’s spent two minutes discussing what they were going to do.
Min reminded the jury of Anthony Clendenin’s anger and malice toward Kuma and dogs in general. According to witnesses, Min said Anthony Clendenin previously sprayed Kuma with a watering hose and threatened to kill a police dog after he was arrested for murdering Kuma.
This story will be updated.
|Chowchilla News Day
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