Charged with Third Degree Felony

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

GRAPELAND – A Grapeland man is facing a third degree felony charge after he allegedly shot and killed his neighbor’s pet dog.

Christopher Vaughn Grier, 48, was arrested at his residence and charged with cruelty to non-livestock animals after the dog’s owner reported the incident to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO).

According to an affidavit of probable cause, HCSO Deputy Detric Murray was dispatched to a residence located at 1595 FM 227 shortly after 6 p.m. on Feb. 6, in reference to a complainant who “… advised that her neighbor had shot and killed her dog.”

Once the deputy arrived at the location, he met with the dog’s owner who “… stated that she left her residence and arrived back shortly afterwards and observed her large brown dog lying clearly on her property, dead. (The dog’s owner) learned that the dog had been shot after speaking with (a second neighbor.)”

Murray spoke with the second neighbor who informed the deputy he was about to take a shower when he heard a loud noise which sounded like a gunshot.

The neighbor stated, “He immediately looked through his front window and saw a dog laying on the ground, kicking,” according to the affidavit.

“(He) then ran outside to see what was going on and observed the defendant (Grier) and his wife standing on his property approximately halfway from defendant’s residence and the fence row,” the probable cause document stated.

The neighbor also informed Murray he saw Grier holding a rifle. He further indicated he knew Grier and provided a description of him to the deputy.

“After the defendant (Grier) shot the dog, he was looking at it from his property view according to (the neighbor),” the report stated.

When the neighbor’s wife arrived home, she went across the roadway to check on the German Shepherd and confirmed that the animal was indeed dead.

Approximately 15 to 20 minutes later, the dog’s owner arrived home and was informed about the incident by the neighbor.

“(The dog’s owner) then called law enforcement. (The dog’s owner) and (the neighbor) both submitted hand-written statements,” the affidavit reported.

The deputy then went to Grier’s residence to question him about the incident and to get his side of the story.

“Defendant stated, ‘I am going to revoke (invoke) my rights to remain silent and ask that my attorney be present for questioning,’” the affidavit stated.

Murray contacted District Attorney Donna Kaspar and described the case to her. He then “… canvassed the area where the dog was laying and could not see a blood trail. The distance from the fence to the dog was approximately 144 feet (48 yards). The distance from the fence back to defendant’s (Grier’s) residence is approximately 30 yards.”

The affidavit went on to state Murray observed a single gunshot wound to the canine before he searched the area near Grier’s residence “… for chicken feathers, dead animals, blood trails, etc., but did not locate anything.”

Grier was arrested for cruelty to non-livestock animals – a third degree felony – and transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody.

According to Section 12.34 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 10 years or less than two years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the third degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.