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

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

[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.