- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - A man charged in connection with the hanging death of a dog in Thurston County has pleaded not guilty.

James Evans pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated animal cruelty in Thurston County Superior Court Tuesday.

The Olympian reports (https://goo.gl/Zc3wj0 ) that several dozen animal supporters packed the courtroom, many wearing pink shirts bearing the dog’s name, Diamond.

Court documents show the 3-year-old pit bull was found March 21 hanging from a tree on Department of Natural Resources land near Summit Lake.

An exam found that the dog died from asphyxiation and there was evidence of sexual trauma.

Evans was arrested April 9 and later released on $50,000 bail. His trial is set for July 25.

A request for comment from his attorney, Richard Woodrow, was not immediately returned.

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Information from: The Olympian, https://www.theolympian.com

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