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Murder Charges Upheld in Dog Case

April 16, 2002

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MAUSTON, Wis. (AP) _ A judge upheld homicide and reckless endangerment charges Tuesday against a man whose six Rottweilers mauled a 10-year-old girl to death while she was playing at his home.

Judge John Brady ruled there was enough evidence in the criminal complaint to support the case against Wayne Hardy.

Hardy, 24, and fellow dog owner Shanda McCracken, 32, were each charged with being party to homicide resulting from a vicious animal, being party to first-degree reckless endangerment and child neglect, as a party to the crime.

The Rottweilers mauled Alicia Lynn Clark to death on Valentine’s Day while she played with McCracken’s 11-year-old daughter at the couple’s house. The couple was away at the time. The dogs were later euthanized.

Hardy’s lawyer, Daniel Berkos, argued the charges should be dismissed because there was no evidence the dogs were vicious or that Hardy knew the Rottweilers posed a threat to the two girls.

But District Attorney Dennis Schuh said a reasonable person would have known the dogs were dangerous. The Rottweilers had killed a cat weeks before Clark’s death and had previously shown aggression toward the girls, according to the criminal complaint.

Hardy and McCracken have pleaded innocent to child neglect, but have not entered pleas to the other charges. They were each released on $10,000 bond.

McCracken’s next court date is June 4.

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