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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Sun Valley

Dog Owner Gets 2 Years in Attack

June 13, 2000|DAVID ROSENZWEIG

A Sun Valley man was sentenced to two years in federal prison Monday for turning his Rottweiler dog on an African American man at a local gas station and then smashing the man's car windshield with a beer bottle.

Rick Lynn McConnell, 38, also was ordered to pay restitution to his victim, Robert Gable, for the shattered windshield. Gable was not bitten by the dog.

McConnell pleaded guilty earlier to two misdemeanor counts of violating Gable's constitutionally protected rights.

U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson awarded McConnell the maximum penalty under the law, rejecting a plea for leniency from his defense lawyer.

"I was pretty shocked by what happened," the judge said.

He noted that McConnell also had a string of drunk-driving convictions on his record, adding: "There is a pattern that goes back quite a long way that indicates that Mr. McConnell is not willing to abide by really very basic requirements."

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