LIVINGSTON COUNTY – Sparks flew at a Tuesday morning court appearance as newly announced candidate for Livingston County District Attorney Ray Sciarrino faced off with incumbent DA Greg McCaffrey at sentencing for the man who was found guilty of shooting and killing a neighbor’s dog.
Harold Bauer, 69, was found guilty at a March bench trial of misdemeanor Overdriving, Torturing and Injuring Animals. McCaffrey asked Judge Robert Wiggins to sentence Bauer to 3 years of probation, order him to pay $1,530 in restitution, and require mental health counseling, but Sciarrino said that this would be inappropriate.
“This sentence stems from Mr. Bauer selfishly destroying a 12-year-old chow-husky mix,” said McCaffrey. “I have reviewed the presentence investigation and recommend a sentence of 3 years’ probation. I feel that anyone who shoots and kills a dog for no reason should receive mental health counseling, and Mr. Bauer has never received any mental health counseling. I am also recommending 200 hours of community service as a punitive measure for his actions on that day.”
Sciarrino said that McCaffrey’s comments were offensive.
“I didn’t think that I would have anything more to say, but I would like to comment in regards to what the District Attorney has just said about Mr. Bauer,” said Sciarrino. “Bear in mind, Mr. Bauer is in his mid-to-late late sixties. He is highly educated, he is not in need of any mental health counseling. The reason that he has not had any mental health counseling is because he doesn’t need any. I find these comments somewhat offensive to Mr. Bauer and myself, having worked with him over the past year.”
Bauer was originally charged with felony Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, but Judge Robert Wiggins chose to convict him of the lesser included misdemeanor offense. He sentenced Bauer to a conditional discharge.
“I did find you guilty and quite frankly, I was prepared to make probation a part of your sentence,” said Judge Wiggins. “But after reviewing the presentence investigation, I am going to sentence you to a conditional discharge.”
Bauer is also required to pay $200 in court fees and fines and surrender any firearms in his possession. Judge Wiggins signed a 5-year no-offensive-contact order of protection in favor of the dog’s owner.
Bauer, accompanied in the courtroom by several family members and friends, reiterated that the killing of the dog was an accident.
“I regret the unfortunate circumstance that occurred in those moments,” said Bauer. “It was not intentional and I am sorry for that.”