CLEARFIELD – The third suspect who was allegedly involved with the unlawful shooting of two dogs back in September appeared for a preliminary hearing Wednesday.
James Potts, 18, of Fallentimber was arraigned Jan. 17, and incarcerated at the Clearfield County Jail after being denied bail by Magisterial District Judge James Glass.
In October, William Cochran, 33, of Coalport and Potts and Joseph Brown, 23, also of Fallentimber, were charged in the case by Trooper Matthew Peacock of the Clearfield-based state police.
Potts was charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals and misdemeanor terroristic threats, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, intimidation of witness and cruelty to animals as well as multiple counts of conspiracy.
Potts waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the jail.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred at approximately 1:13 a.m. Sept. 5, at an Oak Ridge Road residence in Jordan Township, according to the affidavits of probable cause.
When they exited their vehicle, Potts, Cochran and Brown reportedly had their faces covered with bandanas. They walked towards the home, and confronted a woman on the porch.
Potts allegedly pointed a shotgun at the woman and demanded that she “get on the ground.” Because she became afraid of the three men, she released two dogs for her personal protection.
Potts allegedly shot both dogs, killing one. The woman told state police she was forced to have her other dog put down due to the seriousness of its jaw injury.
Later Sept. 5, Trooper Chad D. Ryen transported both dogs to the Allegheny Spay & Neuter Clinic, Woodland, to undergo a necropsy examination.
It was determined that the male dog died from a single gunshot wound to the head; however, the female dog’s muzzle injury wasn’t an immediate cause of death, according to the affidavit.
On Oct. 2, an eyewitness said she heard Potts order the woman to the ground, saw her release two dogs from the home and then heard two gunshots.
During her interview, the witness repeatedly told Peacock she was afraid. She said she was told to “keep your mouth shut or we will hurt you and your family.”