An account of the alleged act of animal cruelty included in charging documents submitted by David Morris, an animal cruelty investigator with Regional Animals Services of King County, provides the following details:
Authorities contend that on March 31 of this year Dachshund owner Carrie Hamilton was planting a tree in her family's front yard with her children and dog when things took a turn for the worse. The family's seven-year-old miniature dachshund, Zeus, started heading for Cole's property - where charging documents note Cole's Siberian Husky and German Shepherd were confined to his yard with an invisible fence - when Hamilton attempted to call him back. Apparently Zeus didn't listen.
Charging documents indicate Hamilton "turned away for about 2 seconds and heard a pop and Zeus yelping." In a subsequent discussion with a responding King County Sheriff's Office deputy, Hamilton admitted that she and Cole had had "dog issues" in the past.
Zeus had been shot in the leg - an attack that resulted in the dog fracturing its leg in several places. According to charging documents, Cole was less than concerned.
From charging documents:
She turned toward the yelping and saw her dog about two feet off of the easement separating her property from Cole's, holding its right front paw up. She looked toward the Cole house and saw Cole in the front window laughing.
Charging documents also contend that when interviewed by the responding King County Sheriff's Office deputy, Cole admitted owning the high-powered pellet gun - which was accessorized with a scope and which Cole said he used to shoot rabbits on his property.
From charging documents:
Cole said he saw Hamilton's dog "crapping" on his property and admitted to shooting the dog. He said he was tired of asking the Hamiltons their dog of his property. Cole admitted that he was aiming for the body of the dog when he was aiming for the body of the dog when he shot it.
Charging documents contend that given the fact Cole used the pellet gun to shoot rabbits on his property, he was well aware of its "lethal power to small animals." Authorities also argue that the fact Cole admitted to aiming for Zeus' body shows he fired his shot with "intent to kill the dog."
The responding King County Sheriff's deputy noted: "If Steven had hit the dog in the body I feel it would have severely injured or killed the dog."
Charging documents also note an August, 2011 complaint with Regional Animals Services of King County in which Cole's German Shepherd allegedly trespassed on Hamilton's property. Authorities contend this event proves Cole was familiar with the process of making a complaint with Regional Animals Services, and therefore was even more out of line in shooting Zeus.
While it may seem like it goes without saying, charging documents note that Zeus, a "7.5 pound miniature dachshund posed no threat to Cole, his property or his dogs."
The King County Prosecutor's Office says Cole is scheduled to be arraigned May 24 at the Regional Justice Center in Kent.
Steven Coles Charging Documents