A Claremont man has pleaded not guilty to beating his dog to death with a pickax.
William Dale Costner, 52, entered the plea Wednesday to a single felony animal cruelty count. A preliminary hearing has been set for July 19. He remains in jail with bail set at $20,000.
Costner was arrested July 2 by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy who spotted him standing over a shallow grave and striking a dog, prosecutors said. Costner was about a block from his home.
A veterinarian said the malnourished dog, which was about 9 years old, had been beaten to death with a pickax.