Two Merced men pleaded guilty Monday to criminal charges in connection with attacking a dog with machetes and leaving it for dead.
Myron L. Pattillo, 46, and Aaron W. Carney, 29, entered their pleas before Judge David W. Moranda in Merced Superior Court. Carney was sentenced to serve one year in Merced County jail, according to prosecutors from the Merced County District Attorney’s Office.
Pattillo, who had already pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, pleaded guilty on Monday to a single count of grand theft in connection with the case. Pattillo initially had been charged with robbery, but he agreed to plead to the lesser charge, according to his attorney, Thomas Pfeiff.
Pattillo will be ordered to serve two years in state prison at his sentencing hearing July 10, according to Ilia McKinney, a deputy district attorney.
Carney pleaded guilty to a felony count of animal cruelty. A robbery charge was dismissed in exchange for his plea. He was sentenced to serve a year in the Merced County jail, according to court records.
The dog, a Siberian husky, was tied to a fire hydrant May 1 at the corner of Conestoga Drive and Austin Avenue. Pattillo and Carney then repeatedly slashed the animal with machetes but left it alive. Animal control officers put the dog down when they arrived at the scene, authorities said.
Pattillo, who was described by authorities as “the main instigator” in the attack, pleaded guilty on May 18 to a felony count of animal cruelty.
“We’re certainly happy the main instigator in the case is getting prison time,” McKinney said. “I think that’s appropriate.”
McKinney stood in Monday for the prosecutor in the case, Deputy District Attorney Thomas Min, who was out of town.
Pattillo has consistently said he attacked the dog, but did not use any force to take it away from the person walking the dog before the attack. Investigators have said Pattillo and the dog’s handler got into an argument shortly before when the Siberian husky apparently bit Pattillo’s dog. Pattillo went back to his apartment and, along with Carney, spotted the husky a short time later on the street corner.
They approached the man walking the dog and, while holding machetes, took the dog, tied it to the fire hydrant and attacked it, police said.
Pfeiff said his client “feels horrible” about attacking the animal.
“He’s always been completely forthcoming about what happened,” Pfeiff said. “He just lost it for a moment and feels terrible about it.”
Capt. Tom Trindad praised the work of investigators, who were led by Detective Joseph Henderson. Police captured Pattillo within hours of the attack and arrested Carney the following day.
“This was certainly a case that meant a lot to the public and, being an (agriculture) based community, we all certainly understand and have a great respect for animals,” Trindad said.
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482