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Hedrick man pleads guilty to shooting hunting dog

On Tuesday, Alan Messerschmidt, 53, entered the plea to one misdemeanor count of Third Degree Criminal Mischief. (Wapello County Jail)

A Hedrick, Iowa, man has pleaded guilty to killing a hunting dog.

On Tuesday, Alan Messerschmidt, 53, entered the plea to one misdemeanor count of Third Degree Criminal Mischief.

The plea means that prosecutors have dropped charges of animal abuse, reckless use of a firearm and assault.

The charges stem from a December 2016 incident near Messerschmitt's farm.

Court records state that the dog was owned by Travis Jay. Jay was part of a larger party using dogs to hunt coyotes when Messerschmitt shot the animal with a high powered rifle.

In an interview with KTVO shortly after the incident, Jay said he was trying to keep his 2 year-old fox hound from entering Messerschmitt's property, when he heard a shot ring out.

According to Jay, Messerschmitt claimed it was a warning shot for trespassing.

But an Iowa DNR conservation officer said the hunting party wasn't trespassing.

The plea allows Messerschmitt to avoid a felony conviction.

Messerschmitt is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 27.

He would face a maximum of two years in prison.


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