UPDATE: Sean Janas Fires Attorney, Judge Says that Won't Delay Trial

By: Team Coverage Email
By: Team Coverage Email

UPDATE: 3/25 at 2:29 p.m.

A Wausau woman accused of mistreating and killing her boyfriend's dog is requesting a new attorney after telling the court she's firing her current one.

During a motion hearing Monday in Marathon County Court the judge informed Sean Janas that at this time the change of counsel would not delay her May 1 jury trial.

Janas has also requested a change of venue or venire. Meaning, she'd like an outside jury to be brought in, or have her case heard in a different county. That motion is still under consideration.

A status conference is expected to be held next week.

The trial is expected to last two days.

ORIGINAL STORY: 10/31/12 at 11:51 a.m.

A Wausau woman accused of intentionally killing her boyfriend's dog has pleaded not guilty to mistreating an animal- resulting in death, poisoning an animal, and obstructing an officer.

As Sean Janas, 20, appeared in Marathon County Court Monday for an arraignment, a couple dozen people walked outside with their dogs, holding signs seeking justice for Mary.

"There's been a lot of attention and people are quite adamant about how they feel and they want to let us know which is certainly, is their prerogative," LaMont Jacobson, assistant district attorney, said.

Police say Janas killed her boyfriend's dog, Mary, in June by poisoning her with Drano, bleach and unidentified pills and then stabbing the animal to death.

The criminal complaint shows a neighbor told police he had heard Janas yelling at the dog and even saw her hitting it with a leash.

The neighbor became concerned for his own dog's safety, after Janas sent him a note telling him to keep the dog quiet. The neighbor says he heard Janas' boyfriend's dog crying in the backyard and saw Janas carrying a knife. That's when he called police.

Janas has denied hurting the dog, but police found evidence to the contrary in a diary.

In a journal supposedly written by Janas, she appears to fess up to the abuse writing, "I just want to beat her till she [expletive] dies. Which I mean I have beat her I mean. I tell you I don't care how long it takes, I'm just gonna keep feeding her pills and [expletive] till she croaks."

She also writes," I have never hated an animal so much in my life, much less hate one or beat one. But the pleasure I get from watching her whimper in pain & cry out for help as I shove drano & bleach down her throat is like no other."

A vet who examined the dog's body after it was brought back for cremation found three unusual cuts on the body that appeared to have been caused by a knife. One cut was on Mary's throat. Mary wasn't tested for poisoning.

This case of abuse has upset many people in the community. Numerous petitions have been started asking authorities to pursue the maximum penalty. A Facebook page has been set up in Mary's honor.

Others are upset that Janas' boyfriend, the owner of the dog hasn't been charged. Jacobson said he considered charging the man.

"His neglect if there was any didn't rise to the level of criminal neglect and I did not feel charges were appropriate," Jacobson said.

This case has also brought the issue of animal abuse back into the spotlight, as we try to understand what motivates people to treat an animal so poorly. In Mary's case, Janas may have been partially motivated by drugs, as she suggests possible drug use in her journal and her mother told police she was taking them.

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