Prison for York Twp. man who fatally shot neighbor's dog

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A York Township man has been sentenced to county prison time for shooting and killing his neighbor's dog.

Richard Lee Heikes, 42, of the 2700 block of South Queen Street, pleaded guilty Wednesday in York County Court to a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty, according to court records.

As part of his negotiated plea agreement, he was sentenced to 11½ to 23 months in York County Prison and given credit for the 108 days he's already spend locked up, records state.

Also in exchange for his plea, a third-degree felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals was dismissed, court records state.

Richard Lee Heikes

Heikes' neighbor told officers her dog, named Atlas, ran home whimpering about 8 p.m. June 5, according to York Area Regional Police.

She called officers to her home about 3 a.m. June 6, police said.

"I could see a bloody hole in the middle of the dog's body, consistent with a small caliber gunshot wound," Officer Donald Hoshauer Jr. wrote in court documents. "The dog, Atlas, died while I was on scene."

Hoshauer spoke with Heikes, who said that Atlas was on the street in front of his home.

"He was sitting on his porch and attempted to scare the dog by shooting close to it with a pellet gun/bb gun," court documents state.

Heikes told police he pulled the trigger and a round ricocheted off the road and struck the dog.

After being shot, Atlas moaned and ran away, documents state.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.