UPDATE: Knowles pleaded guilty to first-degree animal cruelty this morning. He is expected to be sentenced within two months.
INITIAL POST: An Orting man accused of assaulting his neighbor’s dog with a hatchet is scheduled to appear in court today.
Ricky Lee Knowles, 55, pleaded not guilty in March to first-degree animal cruelty after police found the seriously injured dog tied to a pole in his garage on Williams Street NW.
Animal control officers had to cut a piece of wire matted with dog hair from around the dog’s neck. Police found blood-splattered cutting tools, dog treats and a bloody garbage can when they served a search warrant at Knowles’ home.
The dog, Kona, suffered a crushed skull and broken jaw, among other injuries. Kona is back home with his family now.