Jury acquits Indiana man accused of killing woman's dogs

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a northwestern Indiana man who authorities say stole two dogs that belonged to a woman he formerly dated and killed them.

The Northwest Indiana Times reports a jury on Wednesday cleared 24-year-old Anthony Priestas of two felony counts of killing a domestic animal.

Defense attorney Andy Kyres told jurors authorities charged the wrong person. He downplayed the relationship connection, saying Priestas and the dogs’ owner hadn’t dated since 2014.

Authorities say the Hammond man entered the Crown Point woman’s home Feb. 21 when no one was home, stole her pugs Mugsey and Marley, and fatally beat them in adjacent Porter County.

Porter Superior Court says Priestas remains behind bars with no bond on other pending cases in Porter County and a burglary case in Lake County.

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