Archive for Thursday, May 20, 2004

McKinney found innocent

Utility director cleared in shooting of neighbor’s cat

May 20, 2004

Baldwin's utility director has been cleared of all charges brought against him in the alleged shooting of his neighbor's cat.

Terry McKinney, who had been charged with discharging a BB gun in the city limits and cruelty to animals, was found innocent in Baldwin City Municipal Court by Municipal Court Judge Connie Sams last Thursday.

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McKinney declined to comment, but his attorney, Bob Bezek, said they were satisfied with the outcome of the trial.

"I'm pleased we were able to present a good case," Bezek said. "We're pleased with the court's ruling, and we're ready to get on with life."

The charges McKinney was cleared of last Thursday, which were both misdemeanors, were the result of Baldwin resident Teja Curry filing a report with the Baldwin City Police Department March 1. Curry alleged her FireTree Estates neighbor, McKinney, shot her 14-year-old cat, which disappeared last fall.

City Prosecutor Brad Finkeldei said McKinney was found innocent on technicalities of the case, and he was considering appealing, something he would decide by the end of the week.

Curry, who was at the trial Thursday, said she was not pleased with the outcome.

"He didn't even get a slap on the wrist," she said. "That doesn't make me happy.

"I wish laws would change so animal lives are as sacred as human lives."

Though she didn't get the results she wanted, Curry hoped people could learn from the incident.

"If you have grief with a neighbor with whatever situation, talk to them," she said.

"I hope people can learn to be more conscientious toward each other and treat each other with respect and kindness," she said.

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