Washington man waives preliminary hearing in animal cruelty case

  • By Francesca Sacco March 31, 2014

A Washington man accused of cutting the throat of a dog in Washington’s West End after the dog bit his girlfriend in late December waived his preliminary hearing Monday.

James M. Elliott, 50, of 430 1/2 W Chestnut St., was scheduled to appear before District Judge Robert Redlinger on two counts of animal cruelty.

Elliott is accused of cutting the throat of Tippy, a 5-year-old, mixed-breed male dog, Dec. 20. Elliott was living in the home of Tippy’s owner, Connie Stewart, at 135 Brookside Ave.

Stewart’s son, Robert Stewart III, told humane officer Cathy Cunningham that the dog bit Elliott’s girlfriend, identified in court documents as Penny Curry, after she tripped over a gate and startled the animal.

The dog was placed in a first-floor bathroom after he bit Curry, and Elliott allegedly entered the bathroom with a knife.

Robert Stewart said he attempted to enter the bathroom, but that Elliott blocked the door.

Elliott reportedly stabbed the dog in the throat before slicing the animal’s throat, severing the carotid artery and jugular vein, and causing the dog to bleed to death.

Connie Stewart told Cunningham she returned home to find her dog dead. Elliott was gone. Cunningham found the bathroom floor, walls and tub covered in blood.

Elliott remains free on a recognizance bond.

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.


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