AURORA, Mo. -- During an arraignment on Thursday, Mark Alan Rickman, 52, of Aurora, pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the bludgeoning death of his dog.
According to Rickman, the dog was killed because it was starving. Police say, however, the dog looked healthy at the time of death and there was no evidence of starvation.
A bond hearing is scheduled for July 17, 2014.
AURORA, Mo. - A 52-year-old Lawrence County man is in the Lawrence County Jail today in lieu of $100,000 bond, accused of bludgeoning a dog to death with a splitting maul.
Mark Alan Rickman, of Aurora, is accused of animal abuse, torture or mutilation of an animal while alive, according to online jail records. Charges of animal abuse and armed criminal action have been filed, according to the Lawrence County Circuit Clerk's Office. Both charges are felonies.
A probable cause statement says on June 28 a witness saw Rickman hit a dog with a splitting maul about 15 times. When the dog was dead, the witness says he saw Rickman drag the animal on a chain. A splitting maul is a long-handled ax used for splitting wood.
An officer with the City of Aurora and Marionville Police Departments says the witness showed him photos of Rickman committing the crime.
When the officer made contact with Rickman at his property in the 900 block of Griffith St. in Aurora, Rickman said someone killed his dog, according to the probable cause statement.
The officer advised Rickman of his Miranda Rights and Rickman said the dog was killed because it was starving.
Upon further investigation by the officer, food and water were found by the dog house. The officer also stated in the probable cause statement that the dog appeared to be healthy and did not show any signs of starvation before death.
Rickman is currently in the Lawrence County Jail under a $100,000 bond. A hearing has been scheduled for July 10, 2014.
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