By Associated Press - Thursday, September 4, 2014

DALLAS (AP) - A Mesquite man faces up to 10 years in prison for beating and drowning his pit bull.

A Dallas County jury on Wednesday found 60-year-old Robert Prichard guilty of animal cruelty with a deadly weapon. Prosecutors say he killed the dog named Candy by beating her with a shovel and throwing her into his backyard swimming pool in August 2013.

Court documents state Prichard answered his door covered in blood and said the dog had chewed on his patio furniture. Prichard tells police he threw the dog in the pool to “cool it off.” He says he used the shovel in self-defense after being bitten.

The punishment phase of his trial begins Thursday.

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