Alleged Doggie Murderer's Defense: "Patches" Shot Himself

February 2009

"Patches," a Jack Russell terrier, was playing with a loaded gun on the floor when it suddenly fired, accidentally ending his life, claims Ryan Hayes' defense attorney, Walter Gerash, who argued in a U.S. District courtroom yesterday that Hayes was horrified after trying to get the gun from Patches' paws. Gerash told jurors that Hayes "loved this dog and the dog loved him," according to the Rocky Mountain News. Hayes, 49, is facing charges of aggravated animal cruelty, two counts of reckless endangerment, and possession of a weapon while drunk, according to The Denver Post, which notes that the trial is expected to wrap up by Friday.

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