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People Demand ‘Justice for Toby’ In Dog Beating

August 16, 2012
By TYLER REYNARD Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

A crowd of people demanding justice for a dead dog arrived at Ohio County Magistrate Court on Wednesday to watch Anthony Doyle waive a preliminary hearing.

Doyle, 27, of Wheeling is accused of beating that dog to death Aug. 5 at a Wheeling Island home. As of late Wednesday, he had not posted $25,000 bond and remained lodged in the Northern Regional in Moundsville.

Doyle waived his right to a preliminary hearing on a felony charge of animal cruelty Wednesday before Ohio County Magistrate Patricia Murphy. The dialogue outside the courtroom between Doyle's attorney, Randy Gossett, and Ohio County Assistant Prosecutor Shawn Turak lasted longer than the brief hearing.

The prosecution is expected to present the case to an Ohio County grand jury Sept. 10. If indicted, Doyle will be arraigned and given a trial date in Ohio County Circuit Court during docket day proceedings.

The dog's owner, Jill McPherson, was among numerous people in the courtroom wearing T-shirts with the message "Justice for Toby," referring to the 18-month-old Shih Tzu.

A woman on Aug. 5 told police she heard a dog crying prior to witnessing Doyle "dive on the dog and punch it until it went limp," a police report states. Doyle then dumped the dog's body in a weeded area near the house, the witness told police.

Officers traveled to the scene of the alleged crime and found the deceased dog where the witness said Doyle had abandoned it.

Police entered McPherson's home and discovered "blood spatter throughout the apartment," the report states. They also found Doyle inside the apartment, reportedly covered in blood and intoxicated.

Doyle remained in jail in lieu of $25,000 bond late Wednesday.

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