Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Dog, Shooting at Owner

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On Feb. 20, a hearing was held before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Lynn Stewart Mays. During the proceeding, 29-year-old Darian Decator accepted a plea agreement while accompanied by defense attorney Karyn Meriwether standing in for defense attorney Natalie Finegar.

Decator was charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, firearm use in a felony violent crime, firearm possession  with a felony conviction, second-degree assault, having a handgun on his person, aggravated animal cruelty, discharging a gun within Baltimore City, animal cruelty and possession of a firearm without a serial number.

The defendant accepted a plea agreement of 20 years, suspending all but eight years, with the first five years served without the possibility of parole and five years of supervised probation. The conditions of the defendant’s probation were no animal ownership and an order to stay away from the victim. 

The assistant state’s attorney read the statement of facts to the courtroom highlighting the events that took place on June 2, 2023. Decator fired a gun at the victim’s dog, striking and killing it. While fleeing on foot, the defendant then shot at the victim. Investigators found that the ballistics evidence at the scene likely matched the gun the defendant had at the time of the arrest. 

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