A Crestwood man accused of stabbing his neighbors' dog to death in front of them is headed to trial next year.
A St. Louis County judge has set a long-awaited trial date for John Ross III for January 23, 2023. The 62-year-old was charged in 2019 with felonies of animal abuse by mutilating an animal while it is alive and unlawful use of a weapon.
Crestwood police say the dog, Teddy, strayed into Ross' yard on Greenview Drive before the attack. According to a probable cause statement, Teddy's owners stepped outside as the stabbing was underway and screamed at Ross to stop.
"After the first stab, victim was outside, saw Defendant holding the dog down and about to stab the dog again with a knife and screamed for the Defendant not to stab the dog again," says the statement written by a Crestwood detective. "Victims observed Defendant viciously stab the dog multiple times."
Teddy was eventually taken to a veterinarian, but his injuries were so severe he was euthanized, authorities say.
In arguing that Ross was dangerous, police said he admitted washing the blood off his knife after stabbing Teddy six or seven times and then stood with a firearm outside his house, staring down his neighbors.
Ross was arrested in September 2019, and the case has dragged on through continuances and Ross' motion to dismiss the charges. He was released on bond shortly after his arrest and remains under GPS monitoring. On Thursday, Judge Kristine Kerr set the new trial date.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said in a statement he was "deeply disturbed by the allegations" against Ross.
"On behalf of Teddy and his owners, we take this case very seriously," Bell said. "Whether it’s against humans or animals, we won’t tolerate violent crime. Period."
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