FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Aaron Cumpton, the man accused of killing a Fresno family’s dog, appeared in front of a judge and pleaded not guilty to felony animal cruelty charges on Thursday.
Fresno Police told us in October at the time of the offense, Cumpton confessed to strangling and killing a family’s dog.
But it may not have been his first time killing a dog. Eyewitness News found Wednesday night that a second investigation had been opened into Cumpton as a family in Clovis claims he may have killed their dog as well.
Aaron Cumpton pleaded not guilty in the case of Kim Garcia’s dog Artie’s death, despite previous confessions to police and to us when we first met him outside the courthouse.
Aaron Cumpton was scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning.
When Cumpton didn’t show up, the judge asked his lawyer if there was a reason for the no-show, and his lawyer said there was no reason that he was aware of.
The judge ordered Cumpton to be present in court just a few hours later which Cumpton did.
Garcia showed up at court today to make her and Artie’s presence known.
Alongside her was Germain wells, another dog owner who says Cumpton killed her dog as well.
“100%, I feel that confident that he killed my Dutchess,” Wells said.
Eyewitness News sat down with Germain in an exclusive interview.
We got her reaction after Cumpton pleaded not guilty in court.
“I was angry when I saw him,” Wells said. “But I don’t expect anything more than that from him.”
Germain says Cumpton and his girlfriend were dog sitting while she was out of town.
The girlfriend called Germain with the news.
“She said ‘it was Aaron, he stepped on her getting out of the shower’ and I was just a mess,” Wells said.
With Germain out of town, her daughter Ashley Stewart took Dutchess’ body to the vet.
“He is a sick individual,” Stewart said. “He needs to face consequences.”
Clovis Police concluded their investigation into Dutchess’ death.
Part of that report was a letter from the family’s veterinarian.
After examining the body of Dutchess, these were some of the notes made:
Her neck was swollen and flopped to the side. It felt broken. I did not understand how this could be an accident. The dog was in perfect health. In my 25 plus years of working here I have never seen such a tragic accident. My gut instinct was something is not right.
Clovis Police Department handed their report over to the District Attorney’s Office recommending another felony charge of animal cruelty on top of the charges he was in court for Thursday.
“To my understanding, they are in the works,” Wells said.
Cumpton is scheduled to be back in court on March 4th.
In the meantime, the judge has ordered him to have no contact with animals.
Cumpton’s lawyer also mentioned he is also now taking anger management classes since the alleged incident.