Trial for East Moline man who shot and killed dog starts Wednesday

[Updated on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 5:23 p.m.]

Testimony is over and the jury will begin deliberating Thursday morning in the case of an East Moline man who shot and killed a neighbor’s dog.

The jury’s job will be to decide if this is a case of vigilantly justice or a case of self-defense.

Michael Coulter took the stand in his own defense on Wednesday afternoon saying he felt he had no choice but to shoot the pit bull-mix.

[Original story published on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 4:30 p.m.]

A jury was picked Tuesday afternoon and testimony set to begin Wednesday in the case of an East Moline man who shot and killed a neighbor's dog in February.

Michael Coulter says he fired one shot at the Shepard-pit bull mix in self defense, to protect his family. Defense attorney Dan Dalton says Coulter's step-son was bitten by the dog and underwent a series of preventative rabies shots.

Prosecutors say Coulter should not have taken the law into his own hands in a residential neighborhood and will try to prove the dog had already started retreating at the time of the shooting.

The dog's body was later found near a Mercer County creek.

Coulter, a physical therapist, is charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal and reckless discharge of a firearm. He's  a former military police officer who says he knew he had a clean shot and believed he had to take it.

Coulter faces up to six years in prison.


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