Man sentenced for shooting neighbor’s dog


By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 5:06 pm on Monday, October 03, 2011

Michael Hopkins

STANTON — A Fenwick man was sentenced to probation, community service and restitution Thursday for shooting his neighbor’s dog.
Michael Hopkins, 29, previously pleaded no contest to killing or torturing animals.
Hopkins shot Pepper, his neighbor’s 2-year-old female black Labrador, on June 4.
According to the dog’s owner, Brenda Crawford, Pepper was playing in Crawford’s backyard on Brown Road in Fairplain Township near her grandson and his friend. Crawford said Hopkins shot Pepper in the leg from his property.
Pepper underwent surgery June 10 to have the leg amputated.
Hopkins did not speak Thursday when he appeared in 8th Judicial Circuit Court with his attorney, Michelle Lyons.
“Mr. Hopkins is a very active member of the community and incredibly active with his family,” Lyons said. “He’s a ball coach, school volunteer and also a very valuable employee.”
Judge David Hoort sentenced Hopkins to one year probation, 200 hours of community service and $4,521.80 in veterinary restitution, plus additional court fees. Hopkins also has to forfeit his gun, write a letter of apology to the Crawford family and avoid any further contact with them.
Hoort said he didn’t impose any jail time because the Crawford family was agreeable to this sentence.
“I don’t find what you did to be justifiable or excusable,” the judge told Hopkins. “It was an intentional act. Certainly when children are around the vicinity, it’s inexcusable for someone of your maturity to be doing something like that.”

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