Virginia man accused of shooting 2 dogs in revenge for cat’s death

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (AP) — Authorities say a Virginia man whose cat was killed by two Labrador retrievers pursued their owner and fatally shot the dogs.

The Roanoke Times reports 68-year-old Stephen Nichols Cook was convicted Tuesday of two misdemeanor charges in connection with the November incident and a judge sent felony charges against Cook to a grand jury. Cook immediately appealed the misdemeanor convictions.

Tuesday’s hearing featured testimony from several witnesses, who described how Cook and nearby property owner Arthur Hamrick had long been at odds, fueled by encounters between Cook’s cats and Hamrick’s dogs.

Cook’s attorney, Richard Davis, said Cook was sorry the dogs had been killed and that his actions should be seen in the context of grief. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Dean Manor said Cook chose “vigilante justice” over nonviolent avenues.

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