Kane County state's attorney empathizes with dog lovers frustrated with Wayne shooting
Two days after announcing there will be no criminal charges stemming from the shooting death of a dog in Wayne, Kane County State's Attorney Jamie Mosser spoke about her personal struggle in not being able to do more.
Mosser appeared on Elgin Police Chief Ana Lalley's weekly radio show on Friday. Slated to talk about an arrest diversion program her office is piloting in Elgin, Mosser dived into the shooting after being prompted by the show host. The August shooting drew the attention of dog lovers throughout the area and became a more high-profile case because it involved the husband of the Wayne village president.
"In the beginning, there was a lot of misinformation out there," Mosser said. "I understood why people in our community wanted to see this person as a horrible monster and protect the dog. I get that. I feel bad for this dog. I'm with the community on this. The best justice I can offer our community is to follow the law in each and every case. That's what I did here."
Mosser said she sat with a team of attorneys in her office to consider charges including reckless or aggravated discharge of a firearm or reckless conduct. All of those charges require the endangerment of someone else.
According to both video evidence and eyewitness testimony, the woman walking the dog was at least 30 feet away and standing in the opposite direction of where the single shot was fired that killed the dog, a Dogo Argentino named Ludwig.
"There is no possibility she was in danger of being shot," Mosser explained.
Next, her office considered a charge of aggravated cruelty to an animal. The major requirement there is conduct that caused the death of an animal. That fact was not in dispute, but Mosser said it was canceled out by Illinois' self-defense laws.
Mosser said the existing evidence supports the killing of the dog because there was a legitimate fear for the life and bodily safety of the shooter.
"My job as the state's attorney is to look to see whether or not we can prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt," Mosser said. "It was a hard decision because I am a dog owner. But I have to follow the law. I have to look at it without emotion. I look at it with our statutes and what evidence we have. There was nothing I could do but make this decision."
Mosser said there is always the possibility of a lawsuit bringing the case into civil court. In the meantime, she said her office and the sheriff will continue to evaluate charges should any new evidence come forward.