Alleged puppy-killer pleads innocent

Friday, August 5, 2005

By Lauren FitzPatrick
Staff writer

A Peotone man has pleaded innocent to three felonies involving the disappearance and death of a cocker spaniel puppy named Lucky.


The 40-year-old is accused of holding a 6-month-old Peotone puppy for $10,000 ransom July 4, and then tossing the puppy into his yard where his two dogs mauled it. By the time Lucky's family heard a message asking for the money later that day and went to Czernik's house, it was too late. The pup died shortly afterward.


Czernik pleaded innocent to aggravated cruelty, attempted theft and criminal damage to property. All are Class 4 felonies, each punishable by up to four years in prison.

Czernik is scheduled to return to Livas' courtroom for a pre-trial hearing Sept. 9.