BEND, Ore. - A northeast Bend man who pleaded no contest to hanging his neighbors' cat from their fence finished a 5-day jail term and was released Monday, but still faces five years of probation and a ban on possessing any domestic animals for five years.
Glen William Lacoss, 56, was arrested last April, accused of killing neighbors Rick and Shannon Garza's wandering cat, Sweetie, and hanging her from their fence. They said he told them he'd done so because their cat was scratching his trees, though Laoss later told authorities he believed it was one of the area's feral cats that were damaging his property.
Lacoss entered a no-contest plea Nov. 8 to the lesser of two charges against him, first-degree animal abuse, a Class A misdemeanor, Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Moore said Tuesday. In exchange, the felony charge of first-degree aggravated animal abuse was dismissed, Moore said.
No contest is not an admission of guilt, but indicates the defendant believes there is a good chance the evidence would lead to a conviction, if the case went to trial.
If Lacoss is found to possess a domestic animal in the next five years, he would be charged with a new crime, a Class C misdemeanor, Moore said.
The judge's conditions also barred Lacoss from any contact with the Garzas or any animals they care for.
Rick Garza said Tuesday that at the Jan. 23 sentencing, Lacoss again denied hanging the cat and said he thought it was a feral (wild) cat, but Circuit Judge Beth Bagley said that doesn't matter.
"Justice has been served, to me," Garza said. "If anybody does this to another animal, it means you go to jail -- the judge said no more playing around. I hope to God he learned his lesson."
Another Bend animal abuse case is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 16.
Moore said a Feb. 9 trial readiness hearing is set for Ethan Allen Buck, who is alleged to have severely beaten his girlfriend's 7-year-old Lab, Chevy, last April. He was charged with aggravated animal abuse, accused of picking the dog up over his head, slamming her to the ground and kicking her in the ribs, then punching her in the face.