The notion of killing for money has been played out countless times in movies and books as well as in real life. Seldom has the target been a dog. Despicably, that was the case in the fatal shooting of a black Labrador retriever named Paws, who was found dead by his owner in a rural area of Clackamas County, Ore.
On Monday, 61-year-old David James Walkoski and his son, 30-year-old Derek James Walkoski were arraigned for the shooting, which occurred in April 2012. According to The Oregonian, the pair were charged with first-degree aggravated animal abuse, reckless endangerment of another person, and possession of methamphetamine. The younger Walkoski, who has an extensive criminal record, also was charged with felony possession of a firearm.
Although the motive for the crime has not been ascertained, authorities determined that the father, a truck driver, paid his son an undisclosed sum of money to kill his neighbor’s dog. Preliminary evidence suggests a rifle was used in the deadly act.
In a deposition, the neighbor, whose name has been withheld, reported arriving home and finding his beloved pooch lying dead on the ground in a puddle of his own blood. Investigators found the slug that had killed the dog embedded in a nearby garbage can, indicating that the bullet had passed clean through.
Court records further reveal that Derek Walkoski was in arrears for a year’s worth of court-ordered child support payments at the time he killed Paws. Whether that was a factor in the crime has yet to be seen.
Derek Walkoski also faces charges of theft, drug use, and weapons abuse in a separate case. He is being held at the Clackamas County Jail. Prosecutor Sarah Dumont told Presiding Judge Robert D. Herndon at the hearing that Walkoski is “a danger and a threat to the community."
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