Maximum charges and penalties for Gerald McKinney for dog abuse
  • Petitioned MICHAEL A. DVORAK

This petition was delivered to:

ST JOSEPH COUNTY PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
MICHAEL A. DVORAK

Maximum charges and penalties for Gerald McKinney for dog abuse

    1. Robyn Lamoreux
    2. Petition by

      Robyn Lamoreux

      San Pedro, CA

Gerald McKinney of is being charged with mutilating an animal, a Class D felony, and animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor after he beat his pit bull "Bootsie" at his girlfriend's home in St. Joseph County, Indiana when the dog supposedly became aggressive.

Then, police say McKinney tried to bury the dog alive in the yard with the help of his son.  The dog was underneath two heavy blankets and "barely breathing."  One of the dog's eyeballs was missing, and its face was bloody and distorted from the bat strikes.  The dog tried to get up when police llifted the blankets that covered the dog, but it could not stand due to broken ribs and legs.  South Bend Animal Control officers decided the dog's injuries were too severe and the animal was put down.
McKinney tried to bury the dog alive in the yard with the help of his son.

Just as we will not accept violence being committed against people, we cannot allow animal torturers to walk our streets unpunished.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. McKinney acquitted of felony in South Bend dog beating case

      Robyn Lamoreux
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all so much for signing and sharing. We made a good effort. I am just hoping McKinney will be sentenced to the max for the misdemeanor charge and that no plea bargaining is done.
      Keep fighting the good fight!
      Rest peacefully Bootsie.

    2. Ongoing Trial Info

      Robyn Lamoreux
      Petition Organizer

      The scene in the backyard of a home on Greenleaf Lane last summer was as disturbing as it was tragic: A pitbull, battered and barely breathing, lying beside a freshly dug grave with a bloody baseball bat nearby.

      Inside the home were a half-dozen teenagers and 41-year-old Gerald McKinney.

      This week, a six-person jury will decide whether McKinney was responsible for the mutilation of the dog, named Bootsie. McKinney's trial began Thursday in St. Joseph Superior Court and is expected to end today.

      He faces two charges, mutilating an animal, a Class D felony, and animal cruelty, a Class A misdemeanor.

      The incident occurred around 9:30 p.m. Aug. 4, when South Bend police were called to 5002 Greenleaf Lane after neighbors heard yelling and the cries of a dog. Bootsie's injuries were so severe she had to be put down.

      No one was arrested the night of the incident, but in October, McKinney was arrested and charged with the crimes

      Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule told jurors on Thursday that McKinney admitted to an investigator on the night of the incident that he beat the dog.

      But Gary Griner, McKinney's defense attorney, argued that perhaps someone else beat the dog that night, and disputed whether McKinney's statements amounted to a "confession."

      Griner told the jury that Bootsie had become "out of control" earlier that day and bitten a teen who lived at the house. Griner said the teen and his friends had locked the dog in the bathroom and called his mother, Danielle Luton, for help.

      Luton, who was at work, called McKinney, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, to go to the house and check on the dog. Griner said McKinney moved the dog into the backyard then went back in the house and fell asleep.

      McKinney was awakened by an investigating police officer, and was unaware that the dog had just been beaten nearly to death.

      "The issue here is whether Gerald McKinney is the one who actually beat the dog, or whether it was someone else," Griner said.

      Thursday's trial included graphic images of the beaten dog on a large screen in the courtroom.

      One juror covered her mouth at the sight.

      Griner objected to admitting the images into evidence, arguing they were unnecessarily graphic and would illicit an emotional response from jurors, but his objection was overruled by Judge Jane Woodward Miller.

      Chuck LeMaire, the South Bend animal control officer called to the scene, described Bootsie's injuries to the jury, saying the dog was so badly maimed it was taking labored breaths every three or four seconds.

      "It was covered in blood," he said. "... The skull appeared crushed, the jaw was broken on both sides, and was hanging loose when I felt it."

      LeMaire said he questioned Luton's son about what happened and the son pointed to McKinney and said, "You did it."

      LeMaire said McKinney acted surprised at the accusation, "but it was my perception he was feigning surprise, stalling maybe."

      According to LeMaire, McKinney then admitted that he had beaten the dog inside the house.

      "I asked him directly if he was the one that hit the dog (in the house) ... and he said, 'Yeah, I did it.'"

      LeMaire testified that McKinney made the statement with his shoulders slumped, looking down and in a low tone of voice.

      Judge Miller adjourned the trial for the day before LeMaire was finished with his testimony and before Griner cross-examined him.

      The trial will resume today at 9:15 a.m.

      If convicted, McKinney would face up to three years in prison for the felony charge, and one year in the St. Joseph County Jail for the misdemeanor.

      State prison records indicate that McKinney has served time for three battery convictions and, most recently, an armed robbery out of Kosciusko County.

      McKinney was scheduled to go on trial in April, but the judge declared a mistrial after the defense and prosecution were unable to find impartial jurors out of a pool of 22, blaming pretrial publicity.

      On Thursday, a six-person jury and two alternates were impaneled within less than five hours.

    3. In 6 days Gerald McKinney will be back in court.

      Robyn Lamoreux
      Petition Organizer

      From June 3, 2011
      A South Bend man accused of nearly beating his pit bull to death is due in court Friday.

      Gerald McKinney, 40, faces animal mutilation and animal cruelty charges.

      Police say last September he beat his pit bull "Bootsie" at his girlfriend's home when the dog got aggressive. Then, police say McKinney tried to bury the dog alive in the yard with the help of his son.

      The animal later died.

      A mistrial was declared before his trial in April because they could not find enough jurors who were impartial.

      His trial is scheduled to begin on June 23

      From April 15, 2011:

      The trial of a man accused of beating his dog nearly to death last summer ended before it had barely begun Thursday afternoon in St. Joseph Superior Court.

      Gerald McKinney's defense attorney, Gary Griner, asked the judge to declare a mistrial after it became clear that seating an impartial jury would be difficult.

      Several potential jurors told the attorneys they were familiar with the case because of pretrial publicity and had already formed opinions about McKinney's role in the crime, court officials said.

      The county had called 28 people as potential jurors, but only 22 showed up to court Thursday morning, according to court records. From that pool, attorneys needed to select six people for the jury.

      The potential jurors had also reportedly discussed the case among themselves as they were waiting for jury selection to begin.

      St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller granted Griner's request, and a new trial date for McKinney was set for 10 a.m. June 23.

      "It's frustrating," said St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule, who is representing the state in the case. "Because the defense was ready to go, and the state was ready to go."

      McKinney, 41, is facing one count of mutilating an animal, a class D felony , and one count of animal cruelty, a class A misdemeanor.

      A pitbull, bloody and barely breathing, was found in the backyard of his residence on Greenleaf Lane on Aug. 4, according to prosecutors. A freshly dug grave and two bloody baseball bats were nearby, police reported.

      Police arrived at the house to find McKinney asleep and a group of six to eight juveniles inside.

      McKinney is being held in the St. Joseph County Jail. His next court date is June 3.

    4. Reached 4 signatures
    5. Robyn Lamoreux
      Petition Organizer

      The trial of a man accused of beating his dog nearly to death last summer ended before it had barely begun Thursday afternoon in St. Joseph Superior Court.

      Gerald McKinney's defense attorney, Gary Griner, asked the judge to declare a mistrial after it became clear that seating an impartial jury would be difficult.

      Several potential jurors told the attorneys they were familiar with the case because of pretrial publicity and had already formed opinions about McKinney's role in the crime, court officials said.

      The county had called 28 people as potential jurors, but only 22 showed up to court Thursday morning, according to court records. From that pool, attorneys needed to select six people for the jury.

      The potential jurors had also reportedly discussed the case among themselves as they were waiting for jury selection to begin.

      St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller granted Griner's request, and a new trial date for McKinney was set for 10 a.m. June 23.

      "It's frustrating," said St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule, who is representing the state in the case. "Because the defense was ready to go, and the state was ready to go."

      McKinney, 41, is facing one count of mutilating an animal, a class D felony , and one count of animal cruelty, a class A misdemeanor.

      A pitbull, bloody and barely breathing, was found in the backyard of his residence on Greenleaf Lane on Aug. 4, according to prosecutors. A freshly dug grave and two bloody baseball bats were nearby, police reported.

      Police arrived at the house to find McKinney asleep and a group of six to eight juveniles inside.

      McKinney is being held in the St. Joseph County Jail. His next court date is June 3.
      Please continue to share this petition. It's not over and we must be the voice for Bootsie and all of the other animals that endure horrendous abuse on a daily basis.

    6. Robyn Lamoreux
      Petition Organizer

      The trial of a man accused of beating his dog nearly to death last summer ended before it had barely begun Thursday afternoon in St. Joseph Superior Court.

      Gerald McKinney's defense attorney, Gary Griner, asked the judge to declare a mistrial after it became clear that seating an impartial jury would be difficult.

      Several potential jurors told the attorneys they were familiar with the case because of pretrial publicity and had already formed opinions about McKinney's role in the crime, court officials said.

      The county had called 28 people as potential jurors, but only 22 showed up to court Thursday morning, according to court records. From that pool, attorneys needed to select six people for the jury.

      The potential jurors had also reportedly discussed the case among themselves as they were waiting for jury selection to begin.

      St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller granted Griner's request, and a new trial date for McKinney was set for 10 a.m. June 23.

      "It's frustrating," said St. Joseph County Deputy Prosecutor Mark Roule, who is representing the state in the case. "Because the defense was ready to go, and the state was ready to go."

      McKinney, 41, is facing one count of mutilating an animal, a class D felony , and one count of animal cruelty, a class A misdemeanor.

      A pitbull, bloody and barely breathing, was found in the backyard of his residence on Greenleaf Lane on Aug. 4, according to prosecutors. A freshly dug grave and two bloody baseball bats were nearby, police reported.

      Police arrived at the house to find McKinney asleep and a group of six to eight juveniles inside.

      McKinney is being held in the St. Joseph County Jail. His next court date is June 3.
      Please continue to share this petition. It's not over and we must be the voice for Bootsie and all of the other animals that endure horrendous abuse on a daily basis.

    7. Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      The trial starts April 14th -- keep the pressure on for maximum charges!

    8. Reached 3 signatures
    9. Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      Follow the Michiana Animal Alliance Group on Facebook for updates on McKinney's case:

    10. Dog Mutilation: A Family Affair

      Stephanie Feldstein
      Petition Organizer

      In the latest edition of what is wrong with humanity, Gerald McKinney, 40, of South Bend, Indiana, made his first appearance in court for the crime of beating a dog, Bootsie, bloody with a baseball bat and then attempting to bury him alive....

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Michele Mercer CASA GRANDE, AZ
      • about 3 years ago

      I hope this bastard dies for what he did to that poor dog ..I cant imagine the pain that poor animal must have felt.. For petes sake you beat it so badly he was missing an eyeball.. your a pathetic Monster & if I lived in your state I would beat your near death and smash your skull into your friggen worthless pea brain..I hope someone lights you on Fire you peice of shit...

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    • Lisa Galway HALIFAX NS CANADA, CANADA
      • over 3 years ago

      This act was intentional to cause death. Both Gerald McKinney and his son should be charged and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law. Both should receive education on proper animal welfare. They both should never be allowed to own or be near animals again.

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    • Billye Thompson MOUNT JULIET, TN
      • over 3 years ago

      THIS MAN IS A DANGER TO SOCIETY!!!!!!!

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    • Stacy Lambe HOMESTEAD, FL
      • over 3 years ago

      PUT THIS MONSTER IN PRISON FOR THE MAX!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • linda koch CANTERBURY, NH
      • over 3 years ago

      This intentional killer must be held responsible with a very heavy jail time and he and his son NEVER to be alloed arounds any animal ever again

      Abuse the abusers

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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