http://www.dailysouthtown.com/southt...ews/051nd4.htm

Alleged puppy-killer pleads innocent

Friday, August 5, 2005

By Lauren FitzPatrick
Staff writer


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

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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.

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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.