Tuesday , June 12, 2018 - 6:24 PM22 comments
OGDEN — An Ogden resident and former Mormon bishop was given probation for shooting out the eye of a neighbor’s dog. His neighbor wanted him to serve jail time instead.
Kim Errol Tibbitts, 57, pleaded guilty in March to one count of aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor.
According to a probable cause statement, Tibbitts shot his neighbor’s dog with a BB gun several times over nine months, and the abuse didn’t come to light until the dog’s eye was so damaged it needed to be removed.
Tibbitts, who has not been arrested, appeared in an Ogden courtroom Tuesday afternoon. His attorney, Travis Marker, said his client has no criminal history and has offered to pay for all the dog’s medical bills.
“He’s been responsive and apologetic,” Marker said. “He’s trying to do whatever he can to help.”
Marker added that Tibbitts was a bishop of a congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but he recently resigned from his position in light of the charges.
Tibbitts addressed the court and said he was truly sorry for what he had done.
“If I could take it back, I would,” he said. “I never intended to hurt your dog.”
Tibbitts’ neighbor, Tanya Scott, was at the hearing and outlined the damage Tibbitts caused to her family and their beloved dog, Neiko. She brought pictures of her dog and showed them to the court.
“While he has a lack of criminal history, he doesn’t have a lack of criminal action,” Scott said.
Story continues below the photo.
Scott asked the court to assign Tibbitts to serve weekends in jail for the next nine months, which is the same amount of time she says the abuse went on against her pet.
Judge Noel Hyde cited the court’s sentencing matrix as a guideline for how to resolve cases such as this. Hyde said that Tibbitts is a low-risk offender and assigning a jail sentence could do more harm than good in this situation.
Hyde gave Tibbitts two years probation and required him to perform 80 hours of community service before his probation ends. Tibbitts must perform at least five hours of community service per month.
Outside of the hearing, Tibbitts declined to comment.
Scott told reporters outside the courtroom that she and her son were disappointed with the ruling, and they felt the judge did not hear their pleas and their needs were not considered.
Parris Scott, Tanya’s son, said it hurts him to see the kind of pain his beloved dog goes through on a regular basis because of his injuries from the gunshots.
“We just want justice,” he said. “I don’t think we got that today.”
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