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Man who stabbed dog sentenced to 2-plus years

A man who broke into a home last November and stabbed a dog will spend almost two years in jail in a plea agreement approved Thursday.

Roger Lyn Mendenhall, 42, appeared before Superior Court Judge Sam Cozza and pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and first-degree animal cruelty. The charge of first-degree armed burglary was dropped.

Prosecutor Anthony Hazel said Mendenhall was familiar with the residents of a home in the 2900 block of East Diamond Avenue when he entered it Nov. 28.

Mendenhall maintained he didn’t mean to hurt the pit bull and it was accidentally wounded by a knife he was holding when the dog jumped on him. The residents arrived and struggled with Mendenhall, restraining him until police arrived.

The dog was taken to an emergency pet clinic with critical injuries and survived.

Mendenhall made an Alford plea to the animal cruelty charge, meaning he doesn’t necessarily agree with the charge, but believes he could be convicted at trial.

He told Cozza he went to the home because he had been staying there in the past and needed to get his belongings.

“They both know me,” he said.

Mendenhall will spend 15 months in prison for assault and 12 months for animal cruelty.