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Charge: Longview man battered pit bull with sledgehammer

Charge: Longview man battered pit bull with sledgehammer
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LONGVIEW, Wash. – A Longview man who prosecutors said tried to kill his dog with a sledgehammer in October has been charged with first-degree animal cruelty and has been summoned to appear in court next Wednesday.

Chad Miller, 39, will appear in Cowlitz County Superior Court in a case that drew outrage and confusion.

When deputies responded to a complaint last year, Miller said he’d killed his 2-year-old pit bull, Nero. The dog, he said, bit him after he’d hit the dog for eating a box of doughnuts. Police said he claimed he’d responded by killing the dog with a sledgehammer.

A few days later, however, the dog turned up alive – with three skull fractures – and deputies said Miller told them the dog had actually survived the bludgeoning and run away.

Animal control supervisor Mike Nicholson told the Longview Daily News that charges were a long time in coming because it was difficult to get witnesses to cooperate.

“It was just such an ugly case that it did take a while to get all my evidence and witnesses lined up,” Nicholson said.

The charges came the same week another Washington man, Christopher Dillingham of Stevenson, was charged with animal cruelty for allegedly strapping a homemade bomb to a dog's neck and blowing it up.

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