Jury convicts Augusta man of shooting veteran's service dog

It took a jury just 15 minutes to convict a man accused of breaking into the Augusta home of a wounded soldier and shooting her service dog.

At the conclusion of a two-day trial in Richmond County Superior Court, Joshua Patterson, 33, was found guilty of aggravated cruelty to animal and burglary – felonies that could result in a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

According to witnesses at the trial, Patterson broke into the Gardner Street home of William and Kinga Kiss-Johnson on May 7, 2012. Balto, her black English lab service dog, was shot in the neck-chest area.

Although Balto has recovered, he still has physical limitations and Kiss-Johnson – severely injured while deployed in Afghanistan – cannot rely on his assistance for long periods of time.

Patterson is set for sentencing Thursday.

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