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Dog mistreatment charge dropped against Wis. man

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — A Winnebago County judge has dismissed a felony charge against a man accused of starving his dog to death, after doctors said the defendant wasn’t competent to stand trial.

Nineteen-year-old Bryan I. Hutcherson had been charged with animal mistreatment. His pit bull puppy had been found dead on an Oshkosh sidewalk last March due to extreme malnutrition.

An Oshkosh Northwestern report says he was given two competency evaluations, and doctors came to conflicting conclusions. A third evaluation indicated he wasn’t competent to stand trial.

Prosecutor Scott Ceman said he had no choice but to recommend dismissing the case. Judge Karen Seifert agreed Friday.

A message left with Hutcherson’s attorney Saturday was not immediately returned.

If Hutcherson had been convicted he would have faced up to 3.5 years in prison.

Information from: Oshkosh Northwestern, http://www.thenorthwestern.com

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