June 7th , 2013 9:06 am Leave a comment

Former Memphis shelter worker “shocked” at charges

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MEMPHIS — A former worker at the Memphis Animal Shelter has told a jury he was shocked to be charged with cruelty.

The Commercial Appeal reported Billy Stewart testified in his own defense Thursday, telling jurors he never choked dogs into unconsciousness or choked any animal at the shelter.

The 29-year-old Stewart rebutted testimony about his actions by a Memphis police officer who went undercover as a shelter worker.

Two other shelter employees were also indicted on aggravated animal cruelty charges. Both pleaded guilty and were given short jail sentences. One of the former workers testified against Stewart.

But Stewart told jurors dogs sometimes choke themselves as they fight being led to euthanasia on a catch pole.

The case could go to the jury Friday.

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