A Struthers man, already in prison for beating a woman in Trumbull County, has now entered a guilty plea in a separate case alleging that he led a dog into the woods and shot the animal.

George Panno III, 29,  pleaded guilty to one felony count of cruelty to a companion animal on Thursday during his trial that began earlier this week.

Because a gun was used in the crime, the conviction includes a firearm specification, meaning Panno will be required to serve one year in prison in addition to the sentence on the cruelty charge.

Panno will be sentenced at a later date.

The charge stems from an incident that occurred on April 8 along South Bailey Road in Ellsworth Township where a man was seen walking his dog on a leash into a wooded area.

A woman and her daughter told deputies they heard three gunshots, then the man came out of the woods without the dog.

The witnesses say the man opened and closed the trunk of his car before driving away.

The woman followed the car and reported the license number to a dispatcher.

When deputies arrived, they say the car had returned to the area and they saw Panno coming out of the woods.

Deputies say Panno told them he had lost his dog and denied firing a weapon.

About fifty yards into the woods, Deputies found a pile of trash bags and twigs.  Under the pile were the remains of a black dog that had been shot at least twice.

Investigators recovered a .40 caliber pistol as evidence.

In a separate case, Panno was sentenced to three to 4-and-a-half years in prison in October after he pleaded guilty to felonious assault, kidnapping, endangering children, and domestic violence.

According to a report filed by Niles Police, on April 22, a 26-year-old woman suffered a severe laceration at her Royal Mall apartment at the hands of Panno.

Witnesses told police that a knife-wielding Panno punched the woman, dragged her by the hair, and slammed her head on a concrete porch. The woman said Panno had choked her and bitten her ear.


Animal Charity posted an x-ray of Diesel's wounds on Facebook