YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A man charged with killing a dog earlier this year pleaded guilty Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court just before jurors were to hear closing arguments in his trial.
George Panno, 29, pleaded guilty before Judge Anthony Donofrio to a charge of cruelty to companion animals, a fifth-degree felony.
Prosecutors are seeking a two-year sentence, one year for the charge as well as one year for the firearm specification.
Sentencing will take place after a pre-sentencing investigation.
Prosecutors also want Panno banned from ever owning an animal, but his attorney, Frank Cassese, said his client is “disagreeable” to that.
Cassese also said he will argue at sentencing that his client serves the prison time concurrent with his other sentence.
Panno was accused of taking his girlfriend’s dog April 8 to a wooded area in North Jackson, taking the dog in the woods and shooting the dog three times. Cassese has claimed that the dog had a history of aggressive behavior, including attacking children.
A jury was selected Monday and they heard testimony Tuesday and Wednesday. They were to hear closing arguments today before Panno changed his plea.