Two Men Waive Hearings in Dog Shooting Case

Joseph Brown and William Cochran (Provided photos)

CLEARFIELD – Two of the three men who were allegedly involved with a dog shooting in September were scheduled for court on Wednesday.

William Cochran, 33, of Coalport and James Potts, 18, and Joseph Brown, 23, both of Fallentimber, were charged Oct. 21 by Trooper Matthew Peacock of the Clearfield-based state police.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred at approximately 1:13 a.m. Sept. 5 at an Oak Ridge Road residence in Jordan Township, according to the affidavits of probable cause.

When they exited their vehicle, Potts, Cochran and Brown reportedly had their faces covered with bandanas.  They walked towards the home, and confronted a woman on the porch.

Potts allegedly pointed a shotgun at the woman and demanded that she “get on the ground.” Because she became afraid of the three men, she released two dogs for her personal protection.

Potts allegedly shot both dogs, killing one. The woman told state police she was forced to have her other dog put down due to the seriousness of its jaw injury.

Later Sept. 5, Trooper Chad D. Ryen transported both dogs to the Allegheny Spay & Neuter Clinic, Woodland, to undergo a necropsy examination.

It was determined that the male dog died from a single gunshot wound to the head; however, the female dog’s muzzle injury wasn’t an immediate cause of death, according to the affidavit.

On Oct. 2, an eyewitness said she heard Potts order the woman to the ground, saw her release two dogs from the home and then heard two gunshots.

During her interview, the witness repeatedly told Peacock she was afraid. She said she was told to “keep your mouth shut or we will hurt you and your family.”

Potts was charged with felony aggravated cruelty to animals and misdemeanor terroristic threats, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, intimidation of witness and cruelty to animals as well as multiple counts of conspiracy.

Cochran and Brown were charged with felony conspiracy/aggravated cruelty to animals (two counts), as well as misdemeanor conspiracy/terroristic threats, conspiracy/simple assault, conspiracy/recklessly endangering another person, conspiracy/cruelty to animals and intimidation of witness.

Both Cochran and Brown waived their rights to preliminary hearings Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. Brown had the misdemeanor count of intimidation of witness withdrawn.  Bail for Cochran and Brown is set at $120,000 and $5,000 monetary, respectively.

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