January trial scheduled for canine assault case
CARLTON -- A January trial date has been scheduled for a Ramsey County sheriff's deputy accused of assaulting his canine partner at a training event in Carlton County, but attorneys hinted Wednesday that a plea agreement could be in the works.
CARLTON - A January trial date has been scheduled for a Ramsey County sheriff’s deputy accused of assaulting his canine partner at a training event in Carlton County, but attorneys hinted Wednesday that a plea agreement could be in the works.
Brett Arthur Berry, 48, appeared briefly in State District Court for a pretrial conference. Berry’s defense attorney, Kevin Short, said negotiations are ongoing with county prosecutors and requested the trial date.
“We hope that it’s not necessary to try this case,” Short added.
Judge Leslie Beiers scheduled a two-day trial to begin Jan. 26, with a settlement conference set for Jan. 20.
Berry faces misdemeanor counts of assaulting a public safety dog and animal cruelty. He pleaded not guilty to the charges in August.
The deputy was attending a training and certification event at Black Bear Casino Resort in June when he was captured on video “yelling at his dog and aggressively scolding” his partner, according to the criminal complaint.
Surveillance video then showed him “grabbing (the dog) by the collar and slamming it to the ground on its back” and “beating it repeatedly on or about the shoulder or ribs area,” the charges said.
Berry was sent home from the training and placed on paid administrative leave. The canine, Boone, was taken from his custody, and the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said a veterinarian’s examination did not reveal any injuries. At least a half-dozen protesters were in the courtroom for Wednesday’s hearing and also gathered outside the courthouse.
Berry, of Arden Hills appeared at Wednesday’s hearing wearing a sling on his right arm. He has worked for the sheriff’s office since 1996.