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Crown argues farmer who shot neighbour’s dog put its teenage owner in danger

A rifle owner checks the sight of his rifle at a hunting camp property in rural Ontario west of Ottawa on Wednesday Sept. 15, 2010

Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The defence says a man facing gun-related charges in the shooting death of a neighbour's pet dog had the right to protect his farm animals from the 11-month-old St. Bernard.

But the Crown says Eugene Krawchuk put the owner of the dog, a 16-year-old girl, in danger when he raised his gun and fired as she pleaded for him not to kill her pet.

Closing arguments were made Wednesday in the trial of Krawchuk, who is charged with unlawfully killing the dog and careless use of a firearm, among other charges.

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Krawchuk, 59, says the dog named Bentley had crossed over onto his property last spring and was chasing and harassing his animals.

The defence argues teenager Lianne Price didn't have a leash with her when she tried to retrieve Bentley, who wasn't responding to her commands.

The Crown says Krawchuk knew from the moment he heard a commotion outside about a dog on his land that he planned on killing the dog.

Krawchuk has admitted to loading his rifle before knowing what the dog was doing, and the trial has heard there was bad blood between the families.

While the defence argues Krawchuk only shot once Bentley was clear from anyone else in the pasture, the Crown contends the farmer was tracking the dog with his rifle, meaning the weapon was momentarily aimed at the teenager as the dog ran in front of her.

The judge has reserved his decision on the case until March 20.

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