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Florida man accused of beating puppy will be assigned a new judge

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A Florida man who was found guilty of animal cruelty after he allegedly beat his Labrador retriever puppy, is being provided with a new judge to review the case because his defense attorneys have successfully argued that the prior judge was "too prejudiced" to fairly make a ruling, reported Friday's publication of the Bradenton Herald.

In May 2012, a jury of six found Noah Mitchell, 35, guilty of animal cruelty, a third degree felony, for an alleged beating which took place on October 3, 2010.

Mitchell was accused of beating his eight-month-old puppy "Bubba," after the pup stole a piece of steak. The puppy suffered six fractured ribs, two collapsed lungs and a damaged larynx and was "near death" at the time that he was discovered.

Mitchell maintains that he did not beat the puppy, but rather, dropped him after being bitten on the hand.

The judge who previously presided over the case told Mitchell that he did not believe his story.

Judge Luis Garcia stated:

"So, Mr. Mitchell's version of what occurred, as far as the court is concerned, is not credible.... Mr. Mitchell, you lost control ... and hurt that dog severely.... You basically refused to get help."

Mitchell's attorney, public defender Jerome Gilhooley, felt that Judge Garcia's statement amounted to prejudice and he was successful in obtaining a new judge to listen to the case.

Even though Mitchell was found guilty almost a year ago, he has not spent any time behind bars.

The dog was was so severely injured in the incident has since recovered and he has been adopted to a new guardian.

Prior story on this case here.

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