BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Arno arraigned on cruelty charges

ST. CLAIRSVILLE Jessie Eugene Arno, 35, Shadyside, was arraigned Monday before Belmont Common Pleas Judge Frank Fregiato on two counts of animal cruelty, a felony of the fifth degree occurring May 20, 2013.

He pleaded not guilty.

His pre-trial was set for Sept. 16, with plea agreement Nov. 12 and trial Nov. 26.

Bond had been set at $5,000.

This case marks Belmont County’s first felony animal abuse court proceeding. Charges stem from the death of two pit bulls and near-death of another in May, when the county humane officer discovered the dead dogs and the condition of the survivor.

Arno’s co-defendant, Becky Vittor, will face misdemeanour charges.

Arno has a 2004 conviction for animal abuse. A prior conviction is necessary to bring felony counts of animal abuse against an individual.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com