Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara has announced a conviction in the case of Milton Lighthall of Vernon. Lighthall pleaded guilty before Oneida County Judge Robert Bauer to one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals, a Class E felony. Lighthalll will be sentenced to the maximum of two years in prison when he appears before Judge Bauer on April 29th.
According to District Attorney McNamara, Lighthall took the dog from its owner’s residence in Canastota. Lighthall had been a guest at the dog owner’s home and told Judge Bauer that the dog had bit him. On October 2, 2020, Lighthall took the dog to Hill Road, Verona, tied the dog to the rear bumper of his car and took off, dragging the dog behind. The dog was left on Hill Road and wandered to a residence when she stayed while the dog owner was contacted. The severe injuries to the dog resulted in sepsis and she had to be euthanized.
“The gratuitous infliction of suffering upon a defenseless animal will never be tolerated, and because of this, the maximum sentence was the only outcome of the case that was acceptable to our office for such a cruel act.”, said District Attorney McNamara.