USA

Teacher accused of feeding puppy to turtle to be tried

PRESTON, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho teacher accused of feeding a live, sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of several students will be tried in his own community next month, a judge has ruled, dismissing an attempt by prosecutors to move the trial to another county.

Prosecutors wanted to move the trial of Preston Junior High School teacher Robert Crosland outside of Franklin County. The teacher has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty in Franklin County Magistrate Court.

Prosecutors with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office argued that they won’t be able to seat an unbiased jury because of “the community’s rallying cry to support Crosland and the unusual community support in this case,” the Idaho State Journal reported Sunday. They noted that people are raising money to help the teacher pay for his legal defense.

State attorneys are handling the case after Franklin County Prosecutor Vic Pearson cited a conflict of interest.

District Judge David C. Hooste on Tuesday ruled in favor of Crosland, whose lawyer argued in part that it is against state statute to change the place of a trial in criminal misdemeanor cases.

Crosland’s attorney, Shane Reichert, argued that moving the trial outside of Franklin County would deny Crosland the right to a jury trial of his peers.

The teacher could face up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted at trial Oct. 26.

Numerous media reports have stated that Crosland is accused of feeding the live puppy to the snapping turtle because the puppy was terminally ill, but nowhere in the court documents obtained by the Journal is it stated that the puppy had any illness.

The school is in rural Preston, a community of about 5,300 people where the 2004 teen cult classic film “Napoleon Dynamite” was set.

Several parents came forward to say Crosland fed the puppy to the turtle on March 7. Several weeks later, state officials seized the turtle and euthanized it as a non-native species.

Crosland is in the classroom this school year teaching biology, his lawyer said.

___

Information from: Idaho State Journal, http://www.journalnet.com

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

Football news:

Sterling on the record for goals in a season: we Want to win the Champions League and the FA Cup, otherwise they won't mean anything
Sheffield will finish the Premier League season without defeats from clubs from London. 22 points in 10 games and 5 home wins
Bonucci on Juve's draw with Atalanta: We must look at the result. This is how Championships are won
Sterling surpassed Yaya Toure to become Manchester City's 2nd goalscorer in the history of the Premier League
Gasperini on two penalties for Juve: They are above any rules in Italy. Did we have to cut off our hands?
Sarri Pro 2:2 with Atalanta: We played with one of the best teams in Europe right now
Pep Guardiola: Manchester City have won a place in the Champions League on the pitch. I hope that UEFA will allow us to play