(Cleveland) – It’s almost 23 years in prison for the man who shot a dog in Cleveland Heights and left the animal chained to a park tree.
But 42-year-old Raymone "Ramone" Clements wasn’t sentenced for the animal abuse. Instead, prosecutors went the federal route and had him convicted of firearms charges.
Clements was found guilty following an April jury trial of one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
According to prosecutors, Clements shot the bull mastiff named Forrest as the dog was chained to a tree in Forest Hill Park in the early evening hours of Nov. 25, 2012. Forrest has since recovered and has been adopted.
Witnesses led police to Clements. The incident led investigators to search his residences, where they found the ammunition and firearm, according to court testimony.
Court records show Clements had ammo and a gun despite previous convictions for rape (2006), drug trafficking (2003) and aggravated robbery (1991).
"This case demonstrates why rapists and other felons are forbidden from having firearms,” Steven Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, said. “Whether is a person using a gun to commit a violent crime, a felon illegally obtaining ammunition or a straw purchaser trying to circumvent the law, we will aggressively pursue those who would violate our nation’s firearms laws."
During his sentencing, Clements pleaded with the judge for a lesser sentence. But U.S. District Judge Donald C. Nugent sentenced Clements to 275 months in prison.
Forrest's owners Patti Harris and Robin Stone say the sentence is justice for everyone as they try to change animal cruelty laws in Ohio. They would like to see animal cruelty be considered a felony. If Clements was sentenced for animal cruelty, he could have only received up to 10 months in prison and a $250 fine.
They also tell Newsradio WTAM 1100 Forrest is doing fantastic transitioning into home life. He seems more relaxed and is doing really well says Stone.
(Forrest owners Patti Harris and Robin Stone/Photos by Colleen O'Neill/WTAM 1100)
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(Copyright © 2013 by Clear Channel, all rights reserved. Forrest photo courtesy Robin Stone.)