6 month sentence for killing dog after appeal

Local

An Axtell woman saw her original 8 year prison sentence assessed for killing a dog  reset to six months in a  state jail after filing an appeal and a ruling in the appeal of another animal cruelty case.

Sharon Diane Finley was tried, convicted and given the original 8 year sentence in November of 2016.

She was only behind bars about a month and a half when she was released on bond pending her appeal in the  case.

Her original sentence had included a deadly weapons finding, as she was accused of killing a Siberian Husky with a knife and an ice pick.

However, another animal cruelty case heard in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals resulted in a ruling  that there could not be a deadly weapons finding in an animal cruelty case, immediately reducing the possible sentences for Finley.

Thursday morning in McLennan County’s 54th District Court in a new sentencing hearing, Finley accepted an offer of 6 months in a state jail.

She will have to serve that time with credit for the time she had previously served.

In the original complaint against Finley, she was accused of entering the dog owner’s property and releasing two Siberian Huskies that had been left on thirty foot long tethers and putting them in her car.

Court papers say she was later seen letting one of the dogs out of her car and dumping something in a ditch.

Investigating deputies later found one dog dead in a ditch.

Deputies examining her car later found fresh blood in the backseat of her car along with an ice pick and a folding pocket knife with dog hair on them. 

In her original trial, Finley claimed she was trying to rescue the dogs.

During the original sentencing prosecutors presented evidence of Finley having several prior felony convictions.

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