Balto, a local veteran's service dog, is recovering after a burglar shot him during a home invasion. (WRDW-TV / May 8, 2012)
News 12 at 11o'clock / Tuesday, May 29, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- A man will stay behind bars through his trial as he faces charges for burglary and cruelty to an animal.
Joshua Patterson is accused of breaking into a disabled veteran's home and shooting her service dog, Balto, who's still having problems.
"He's not able to work for now, and also he jumps on every little noise, and he's still really scared of the house itself," said Kinga Kiss-Johnson.
She's a veteran who was severely hurt in combat, and now she has to get by without her partner. Kinga and Balto were in court together Tuesday to see if Patterson would get bond or not.
Inside the hearing, the state of Georgia argued Patterson should not get bond. Its reasoning was that if he allegedly was willing to shoot a dog in an empty home, he would shoot a person, and therefore, would be a threat to the community.
Patterson's lawyer brought up his small criminal record; Patterson's never been convicted of a felony. He also said Patterson suffers from anxiety and a heart condition. He is married with three children.
The judge sided with the state, saying Patterson should be considered dangerous, therefore denying him bond.
"[The decision] is very rewarding," said Bill Johnson, Kinga's husband. "It shows that the system can work."
"I don't know what's going to happen in the future, but I know that -- for now -- everyone is safe," Kinga said of the decision.