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Belding man shoots, kills neighbor's dog | Crime

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Belding man shoots, kills neighbor's dog
Crime, News
Belding man shoots, kills neighbor's dog

By Elisabeth Waldon-Staff Writer
From The Daily News


EASTON TOWNSHIP -  A Belding man shot and killed his neighbor's dog, but likely will not serve any jail time under a plea agreement with the Ionia County Prosecutor's Office.

Walter Rowan, 64, pleaded no contest May 24 to killing or torturing an animal. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as a guilty plea by the court.

The felony carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

Rowan spent one hour in the Ionia County Jail before bonding out. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 19 and likely will be sentenced to time already served, plus fines, costs and possible restitution, according to Chief Trial Attorney Lori Kirkhoff of the Ionia County Prosecutor's Office.

A sergeant from the Ionia County Sheriff's Department responded to the home of Paul and Krista Heaton on Woolridge Road near Belding on March 14.

Krista Heaton said her property contains an invisible fence to keep her dogs on her property, but a heavy snowfall made the fence inoperable that day. She said she saw her 8-year-old German shepherd, Koda, playing with Rowan's dog in Rowan's yard and didn't think much of it.

A neighbor then knocked on the Heatons' door and said Rowan had just shot Koda.

Heaton said she confronted Rowan, who admitted to shooting Koda and disposing of the body. Koda was found dead about seven miles away on Johnson Road near Dickerson Creek...

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