Lakewood man on trial for shooting dog to death |

Lakewood man on trial for shooting dog to death

GOLDEN, Colorado ” A Lakewood man accused of shooting a friend’s dog to death claims he was trying to get a loaded pistol away from the Jack Russell terrier when the gun fired, hitting the animal between the eyes.

Forty-nine-year-old Ryan Hayes faces charges of aggravated animal cruelty, prohibited use of a weapon while drunk and reckless endangerment. His trial began Wednesday in Jefferson County District Court in Golden.

Hayes is accused of shooting the dog, “Patches,” in July 2008 during a visit to Hayes’ home with its owner, Marlys Duggan.

Prosecutors say Hayes initially told police the dog shot itself while playing with the gun.

Defense attorney Walter Gerash says Hayes was horrified after the shooting, and that Hayes had a tender relationship with the dog.

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