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Trial set for Burbank woman accused of fatally stabbing family dog

One of two Burbank siblings charged with felony animal cruelty in the fatal stabbing of a family member’s dog is scheduled to face a jury trial this summer.

The trial for Charissa Bodtcher, 23, is slated to be scheduled sometime in July after she appeared in Los Angeles County Superior Court this week for a pretrial hearing, a court clerk said.

She faces one felony count of animal cruelty or neglect.

Her brother, Timo Bodtcher, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges last month and is on probation, the clerk added. He is required to attend 16 classes on animal neglect as part of his three-year probation.


The 18-year-old also is not allowed to own any animal while on probation, or live in a residence that has an animal. Timo Bodtcher also must submit to a search by an animal control officer at his home, the clerk said. If he successfully completes the three years of probation, the charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor.

Authorities say Charissa Bodtcher stabbed the 2-year-old cocker spaniel mix, Prince, “numerous” times with a 12-inch hunting knife at her aunt’s home in the 200 block of East Cedar Avenue.

Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Stewart alleged in court in February 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.

The siblings and their mother were arrested in February, but their mother, Maria Theresa Bodtcher, 47, was released on her own recognizance 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 his client was not at the home during the attack.

Maria Bodtcher allegedly helped cover up the incident after her children fled the scene, disposing of the knife near a dumpster at a shopping mall at Victory Boulevard and Vineland Avenue.