Man pleads guilty to injuring dog

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — A man accused of injuring a Shih Tzu so severely that it had to be euthanized pleaded guilty Monday to hurting the dog.

Denver Lee Woodburn, 55, of 57750 Carter Road, Barnesville, appeared before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge Frank Fregiato and pleaded guilty to prohibitions concerning companion animals. The fifth-degree felony occurred March 1. His sentence was set for Dec. 19. Woodburn faces 12 months in prison.

Charges in Woodburn’s case stem from a response by law enforcement to a domestic call. At the residence, they reportedly found the Shih Tzu that had apparently suffered severe injuries.

Woodburn is the second person in Belmont County to be prosecuted under what is known as Goddard’s Law. The first instance was in 2017 when Michael Chedester was convicted of shooting two dogs that had wandered onto his property while he was hunting.

Also, Keith Eric Dickson II, 28, of Cleveland, appeared before Fregiato and pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of drugs. The third- and fourth-degree felonies occurred Dec. 22, 2017. His sentence was set for Dec. 28. Belmont County Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan said Dickson had concealed 16 grams of heroin and 14 grams of cocaine in the engine of his vehicle.

“Law enforcement officers stopped him based on information received. His vehicle was searched and they found a fair amount of drugs in the engine compartment,” Flanagan said, adding that the stop occurred northbound on Ohio 331 near Llodysville-Bannock Road.