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DNA used in animal cruelty case

BURTON, William Craig-web

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

It’s no longer uncommon to see human DNA used in criminal cases, but animal DNA is being used as evidence in a case pending in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

According to court records, William Craig Burton Jr. of Dublin was indicted last week on a charge of animal cruelty in the Aug. 13 death of a dog that was a companion animal. An indictment is a finding that sufficient evidence exists for a trial. It is not a finding of guilt.

Court records also include a report from a Florida veterinarian indicating DNA taken from dark stains on a high-top work boot matched DNA from blood submitted by the prosecution in a plastic screw-top container. The report concludes, “Blood from both (the boots and container) came from the same dog.”

Burton, who is free on bond, appeared in circuit court Monday morning. The next hearing in the case is set for Friday, March 15, at 9:30 a.m.

The charge is a Class 6 felony, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison.