SUMMIT TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WPMG) – A West Virginia man has been facing serious charges since September of 2019 when he allegedly took a sledgehammer to the 13-year-old Springer Spaniel dog in Summit Township.
The criminal act allegedly took place on September 23rd, 2019 when John Gregory Riordan, 47 of Rock Cave, WV, took a sledgehammer and hit the Springer Spaniel in the head while he was drinking alcohol. The dog suffered severe injuries, including broken teeth, a swollen snout, and head trauma.
Riordan was arrested by the Pennsylvania State Police on felony animal cruelty charges, to which his bail was set at $150,000.
During Riordan’s October 2019 preliminary hearing, ADA Russ Karl had agreed with the defendant’s lawyer to drop the felony animal cruelty charge to a “simple” misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. The district attorney’s office agreed to do this to prevent the federal statute from taking hold of the case.
District Attorney Richard Goldinger did not agree with the motion to move the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor, so DA Goldinger refiled the original felony charges on December 12th at the Common Pleas level.
Riordan’s lawyer is seeking help from the upper court to bring everything back to the original step after the District Attorney’s office originally offered a deal to which they suddenly retracted 2 months later.
In November of 2019, the courts decided to issue a mental health evaluation ordered against Riordan, who was required to undergo a psychology exam.
As of January of 2020, a petition for the writ of Habeas Corpus has been requested. This is to examine everything thoroughly to see if imprisonment or detainment was lawful. Typically, this is the first step to have a case dismissed in addition to a lawsuit against law enforcement or court officials.