Larned man reaches plea in animal cruelty case

Crime

Tiffany Willinger

LARNED, Kan. (KSNW) – Tiffany Willinger, 51, of Larned, appeared Tuesday afternoon in the Pawnee County District Court for a pre-trial hearing. It is for an ongoing animal misdemeanor criminal case.

In the early morning hours of July 31, 2019, an abandoned pit bull puppy was found alongside a road in rural Pawnee County. The puppy was still alive but had been shot multiple times. Due to the extent of its injuries, the puppy had to be euthanized.

Following an investigation by the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Department, Willinger was charged with: (1) Cruelty to Animals done without malicious intent, to wit: shot pit bull puppy multiple times, alleged to have occurred on or about July 31, 2019; and (2) Interference with Law Enforcement, to wit: provided false information to a Pawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy, alleged to have occurred on or about October 12, 2019. His wife Kimberly Willinger, 49 of Larned, was also charged with: (1) Interference with Law Enforcement, to wit: provided false information to a Pawnee County Sheriff’s Deputy, alleged to have occurred on or about October 11, 2019.

At the pre-trial discussion, the parties announced a plea agreement had been reached whereby the State agreed to dismiss Count 2 in exchange for the defendant’s plea to Count 1.

Willinger pled no contest to Count 1. Counsel for the defendant advised the court the defendant’s plan had been to put the puppy down because he felt it was vicious. Willinger expressed remorse as to the way he attempted to euthanize the puppy and for ultimately abandoning the wounded puppy once his attempts to kill the animal failed.

Pawnee County Magistrate Judge Julie Cowell accepted the plea and sentenced the defendant to a 12-month underlying jail sentence suspended to 30 days in the Pawnee County Jail, court costs, booking fee, attorney fees, probation fees and $233.75 restitution for veterinarian expenses.

The court directed the defendant to report to the Pawnee County Jail by 9 a.m. on February 24, 2020, to commence serving his sentence. Upon release, he will be subject to 12-months supervision by Court Services.

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