GOSHEN — An Elkhart teen admitted his role in an animal cruelty incident in July which led to a dog being euthanized by the Humane Society.
Marquis Gary, 16, offered his plea at a hearing Thursday, Dec. 19, before Judge Terry Shewmaker of Elkhart Circuit Court. Gary pleaded guilty to one count of animal cruelty and an unrelated charge of robbery while armed with a deadly weapon. Both are felonies.
Under the plea agreement, Gary will be sentenced to 14 years in jail with four years suspeded to be served on probation on the robbery charge, which carries a penalty of six to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
The sentence for the animal cruelty charge will be up to Shewmaker. The animal cruelty charge carries a sentence of six months to three years in jail with an advisory sentence of one and a half years and a fine of up to $10,000.
The sentences will be served consecutively.
Gary will appear in court for sentencing on Jan. 16, 2014.
According to the Elkhart Police Department, officers were called to the 1200 block of South Main Street around 1:30 p.m. July 5 and found a female pit bull suffering from severe facial injuries.
Witnessess told police several children had been throwing lit fireworks at the dog and she picked one up in her mouth and it exploded.
The Humane Society of Elkhart County was forced to euthanize the dog because of the severity of its injuries.