GREENVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — The 86-year-old man who admitted to 24 Hour News 8 that he shot and killed his neighbor’s dog now faces a felony charge.
The initial misdemeanor charges against Harry German have been amended to one count of felony killing or torturing an animal, according the Montcalm County District Court.
Amber Rood of the Belding-Greenville area said she let her dog Misha, a bullmastiff, out during a Feb. 21 winter storm. The dog never came home and Rood said she eventually learned that her neighbor German may have killed the dog.
German initially told Rood he did not know where her dog was, she told 24 Hour News 8.
When the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office became involved, they found Misha’s remains in German’s backyard and determined he had shot and killed the dog.
German told 24 Hour News 8 in March that he did not mean to kill Misha. He said he fired three shots toward the dog with the intention of scaring it off his property. The third shot appears to have been the one that hit Misha and killed her, he said.
“It was an absolute accident,” German told 24 Hour News 8. “I’m remorseful. I felt bad the minute it happened. I couldn’t believe that dog dropped.”
German was first charged in late March with malicious destruction of personal property worth between $200 and $1,000, reckless use of a firearm and shooting from a safety zone.
It was not immediately clear why the charges were amended. 24 Hour News 8 left messages for county prosecutors seeking further details.
According to the Michigan Penal Code, the felony charge German now faces is punishable by up to four years in prison, a fine up to $5,000 and/or up to 500 hours of community service.