A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge today ruled that there was sufficient evidence for two siblings arrested on suspicion of disemboweling their aunt's dog to face trial.
Charissa Bodtcher, 23, and her brother, 18-year-old Timo Bodtcher, are due back in court March 7 to face felony animal cruelty charges after witnesses described in gory detail the scene in which their aunt's cocker spaniel mix was found bleeding profusely on Feb. 4 at a house in Burbank.
Timo Bodtcher allegedly held the dog down with both hands as his sister stabbed the dog about 10 times with a 12-inch hunting knife, witnesses and prosecutors said in court.
The dog, Prince, was described as black and white, about a 1 1/2 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet.
A police officer who arrived at the scene in the 200 block of East Cedar Avenue that day testified that he saw a trail of blood leading to the top of the steps, where Prince was still barely alive. The officer told the court that the dog was "bleeding heavily" and was "sliced open" in a way that made his intestines hang out.
Prince died later that day.
Tim Bodtcher allegedly told the officer that day that the dog was "crazy" and "bites people."
Police have said the pair's 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 on suspicion of being an accessory to a crime, but the judge released her on her own recognizance.
Today her charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, and she was sentenced to three years of probation.
The siblings have posted $20,000 bail each since their arrest on Feb. 4.
-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News