The trial of Anthony Clendenin and his son Samuel began today in the Merced Superior Court for allegedly beating their neighbor’s German Shepard, Kuma, to death. The case originally occurred in Merced on January 16, 2015. According to Deputy D.A. Min, the Clendenin’s viciously attacked the dog with a bat and a wooden stake. He pointed out that neither of the Clendenin’s suffered any injuries from the dog.
Deputy D.A. Min didn’t need to say much about the case in opening statements, but instead showed a video to the jury that captured Clendenin’s allegedly attacking Kuma violently. Samuel stood on Kuma while his father Anthony clubbed Kuma to death.
Bill Davis, the defense attorney representing Clendenin’s told what the video didn’t show previous to the beating. He said the Clendenin’s tried to get the dog out of their backyard but Kuma attacked Samuel’s foot in the process.
The Clendenin’s say they were defending themselves after the 2 year old German Shepard, jumped the fence and began attacking them in their own yard. Both defendants have pled not guilty to animal cruelty charges. If they are convicted of the crime, they could serve up to four years in prison.
Kim Saesee, Kuma’s owner, described Kuma as a big part of her family. Kuma was very friendly and affectionate. Kim has been the driving force, along with the Merced Community members, who want “Justice for Kuma”. You can view the website “Justice for Kuma” at: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeforKumaSaeturn
Court will continue tomorrow at 10 a.m. to noon. It is expected to continue Tuesday through Thursday next week. The verdict is set to be heard Thursday August 4, but that could change.