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Normal Man Tells Judge He Was 'Clueless' Killing Dogs Was A Crime: Report

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A central Illinois man pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges this week, for killing two dogs last year and dumping their bodies on a rural road.

The Bloomington Pantagraph reports 72-year-old Gary Eustice, of Normal, told a McLean County judge he was "clueless" his actions were criminal.

Gary Eustice
Gary Eustice, 72, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. (Source: Bloomington Pantagraph)

Eustice pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, according to court records. He was sentenced to 24 months of conditional discharge – similar to probation, but with less supervision. Two counts of euthanizing companion animals and a charge of littering for dumping the dead animals on a rural road near Bloomington were dismissed in September.

The Pantagraph reports Eustice apologized for killing the animals, which he said were left with his family. He was charged last December with killing two dogs by enclosing them in a garage with a running vehicle.

Eustice reportedly told a judge he wanted to save the cost of having the dogs euthanized by a veterinarian, and his actions were not taken with any malice or anger, or for sport.

The Pantagraph reports, in addition to his 24 month sentence of conditional discharge, Eustice also must serve 200 hours of community service with an organization that helps animals.

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