Defendant goes before judge in Smith Twp. dog-shooting case

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Gary Smith, Jr. is charged with several felony counts of animal cruelty

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In what prosecutors are calling one of the “most significant” cases of animal cruelty filed under Goddard’s Law, the defendant at the center of the charges went before a judge Wednesday.

Gary Smith, Jr. is charged with several felony counts of animal cruelty. He was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury earlier this month in connection to the discovery of two dead dogs on his property. The animals had been shot in the head.

Investigators say Smith buried the dogs in shallow graves behind his home in the North Benton section of Smith Township. He is also accused of starving two other dogs and attempting to starve two more.

Bond was set Wednesday at $20,000. Smith had requested a lower bond but prosecutors pointed to past cases of out Summit County, one in 2002 involving a drug trafficking charge and a protection order that was filed against Smith.

A trial date was set for April 27.

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