Pit bull shot and killed in Anne Arundel County

Owner's neighbor faces misdemeanor charges

SEVERNA PARK, Md. - An Anne Arundel County man is facing criminal charges after police say he shot and killed a dog over the weekend.

There are questions about exactly what happened Saturday night on Benfield Road in Severna Park.

We do know that Jasmine, a two-and-a-half year old pit bull, died in the back yard of her owner's home.

Owner Derrick Hopkins says he was out to dinner with his wife and their four children when they got a phone call, telling him that Jasmine had been shot.

Derrick said, "I can't explain it to them," he said. "I don't know why he did it. It's just like, Jasmine is gone and we don't know why."

Anne Arundel County Police have charged Hopkins' next-door neighbor, Charles McConnell, with discharging a firearm in a residential area and animal cruelty. Both are misdemeanors.

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McConnell told police that he was doing work in his yard Saturday night, when Jasmine approached him, aggressively.

Mcconnell had a hand-gun on him. He told police he pulled it out and shot the dog. Police are still trying to determine whether McConnell was justified in defending himself. "It's hard to say at this point. We're conducting a follow- up investigation right now, and once the investigation is complete, that will determine whether he did the right thing or not," said Lt. Michael Brothers of the Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Hopkins says Jasmine was calm and well-trained. And he says the dog couldn't have been on McConnell's property -- because there's no blood trail from McConnell's yard to a stain in the grass where the dog collapsed and died.

Hopkins says he and McConnell haven't spoken in months -- but the past, he says his neighbor has complained that Jasmine and one of her puppies bark loudly at night.

Hopkins admits that Jasmine had gotten free from her collar Saturday night -- but he doesn't believe McConnell's story, and he doesn't believe his pet needed to be killed.

"I don't even believe she went over there and got aggressive with him," he said. "If anything, she might have went over there for him to pet her maybe."

Charles McConnell told ABC-2 News that attorney has advised him not to comment.

Derrick Hopkins says he is considering legal action against his neighbor.

You can follow Christian on Twitter -- @chrisinbmore

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