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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions December 17, 2014


2/16/2012 1:05:00 PM
Editorial: No escaping the ‘long arm of the law’

Have you ever heard the term “the long arm of the law?”

We’re about to see a textbook example of exactly what that means in the case of the Cottonwood man arrested for the shooting of his dog.

In the end, the charge of facilitation of animal cruelty against 46-year-old Mark Donald Arneson pales in comparison with the moral outrage many folks feel about this case. Many find it unconscionable that his dog was taken out into the desert, shot twice in the head, and left to die. A passerby later found the dog sitting motionless near a bush, and realized the animal was injured. The dog was still alive. He was transported to a nearby veterinarian hospital for treatment. He was given pain medication and stabilized throughout the weekend but he did not survive his injuries.

The charges against Arneson have been filed in Cottonwood Municipal Court, meaning this offense will be treated as a misdemeanor. He will be fined. Jail is not a likely punishment.

What’s more of a concern for Mr. Arneson right now, though, is a pair of pending and unresolved charges against him from 2010 and 2011 out of the Round Valley Justice Court. One is for possession of a weapon by prohibited person. The other is for trafficking in stolen property and another charge of possession of a weapon by prohibited person.

“Yes, my understanding is that he will be extradited back to Navajo County on those charges since he reported he was/is a prohibited possessor (weapons),” stated Sgt. G. Braxton-Johnson of the Cottonwood Police Department.

The pending charges against Arneson in Round Valley Justice Court, when combined with his prior convictions for theft, burglary and unlawful use of means of transportation in Maricopa, Navajo and Apache superior courts are far more serious than the local charges in Cottonwood City Court.

There is no escaping the long arm of the law.

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