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Siblings plead not guilty in dog death

Two siblings pleaded not guilty Tuesday to animal cruelty charges related to what police called the “pretty horrific” stabbing death of their aunt’s dog in Burbank.

Authorities say Charissa Bodtcher, 23, and her brother, 18-year-old Timo Bodtcher, stabbed the cocker spaniel mix, Prince, “numerous” times with a 12-inch hunting knife Saturday at their aunt’s home in the 200 block of East Cedar Avenue.

The 2-year-old dog was described as medium-sized.

They also allege that their mother, Maria Theresa Bodtcher, 47, helped cover up the incident after her children fled the scene, disposing of the knife near a dumpster at a shopping mall near Victory Boulevard and Vineland Avenue.


She was arrested and pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles County Superior Court alongside her children to being an accessory to the alleged crime.

Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Stewart alleged in court Tuesday that Timo Bodtcher held the 30-pound dog down while his sister stabbed it about 10 times. The stabbing was so brutal, the dog’s intestines were hanging out, Stewart added.

Superior Court Judge Patrick Hegarty declined the district attorney’s request to issue a protective order for Prince’s owner, Ingrid Maynez, but warned all three defendants to not intimidate or harass her.

Hegarty released Maria Bodtcher on her own recognizance Tuesday after her attorney, Vatche Tashjian, said she had no previous arrests, worked as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District and did not pose a flight risk.


Tashjian also argued that her client was not at the home during the attack.

Charissa and Timo Bodtcher remained in custody Tuesday in lieu of $20,000 bail each and are due back in court Feb. 16.

Authorities did not immediately say what they thought precipitated the stabbing death on Saturday, only that Charissa had come to the house to do laundry when she came in contact with the dog.

Charissa Bodtcher had reportedly had run-ins with Prince before, including heel-nipping and barking, Police Lt. John Dilibert said.