1. Cary Ashby , 10:48 PM, Aug 29, 2011
"Rocky was the name of the dog. ... Rocky was about 2 years old," Norwalk Assistant Law Director T. Douglas Clifford said. "I believe he was full grown." Clifford filed the first-degree misdemeanors against each suspect Thursday in Norwalk Municipal Court on behalf of the Huron County Dog Warden's Office, which is handling the investigation. An area woman left Rocky temporarily with Ortman because she had to move, Clifford said. "Kane was going to keep the dog for a little while and someone was going to take ownership of it (later)," he explained. Clifford said the investigation indicates that Ortman had Rocky anywhere from one day to one week before he and Friel reportedly beat the dog to death with a shovel.
When asked about a motive for killing the dog, Clifford said the investigation indicates one of the suspects said one of them was abusing Mucus Relief PM. "The story is they were abusing substances. The original allegations were cocaine, but a person in the know said it was cough syrup," Clifford said. Clifford was asked about Friel's involvement. "He was at Kane's residence when it happened," the prosecutor said.
The dog originally was buried on Ortman's property. Ousley said the carcass will be held at the dog warden's office as evidence until the case is closed. Ousely said this is the first time in his eight years with the office he's heard of a dog being beaten to death with a shovel. The animal cruelty charge isn't Ortman's first brush with the law. He faced two counts of possession of drugs stemming from a July 10, 2010 incident investigated by the Wakeman Police Department. Municipal court records further show there were two similar charges filed in connection with an Oct. 6, 2010 offense also handled by Wakeman police.
In May, Ortman was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to perform 20 hours of community service for a theft conviction for a May 8 incident at Walmart. The animal cruelty charge is the only criminal charge listed for Friel in Norwalk Municipal Court. Ortman and Friel each face up to six months in the Huron County Jail and a maximum fine of $1,000.