Prince County Court House, Summerside
SUMMERSIDE – A Roseville man who shot and killed his neighbours’ dog will find out in three weeks if he’ll spend time in jail.
Joseph Benjamin Muncey Clements, 68, pleaded guilty last month to single counts of willfully causing the death of a dog, careless use and unsafe storage of firearms and damage to property.
On May 9, Clements’ next-door neighbour Matthew Ramsay and his young son returned home to find their two-year-old pitbull-mix shot to death on their kitchen floor.
Ramsay told police that, earlier the same day, Clements warned him to get rid of the dog or he would shoot it. Ramsay said Clements seemed to be intoxicated when he made the threat.
Police were able to locate Clements that evening and took him into custody. He appeared to have been drinking at the time of his arrest.
Clements later told police the dog had almost bit him on more than one occasion in the past.
On the day in question, Clements said he heard the dog barking inside the house, waited until Ramsay and his son left the residence, took a shotgun from his vehicle and shot the dog once in the head through the kitchen window.
Arguments on sentencing were made Tuesday in Provincial Court.
Crown attorney John Diamond recommended a sentence in the range of six to 12 months.
“Mr. Clements committed a heinous act here. His actions were maliciously directed,” Diamond said. “I can’t imagine more serious factual circumstances.”
Defence attorney John Maynard had informed the court in May that he intended to argue a jail sentence would be, “both inappropriate and unnecessary.”
Tuesday, he asked Judge Jeff Lantz to consider either probation or a period of house arrest, given that Clements has no prior criminal record.
Maynard also called Clements’ wife to the stand to provide background as to why her husband lived in fear of the Ramsays’ pitbull.
Judge Jeff Lantz said he didn’t want to rush to judgment in the case, and adjourned sentencing until July 5.