Share This Page

Charges added against Uniontown man in case involving dog shooting

| Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:36 p.m.

A Fayette County man accused of shooting and severely injuring a dog during a dispute over a cellphone was held for trial following a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Christian Wade Palm, 21, of Uniontown, is charged by city police with simple assault, reckless endangerment, terroristic threats, criminal trespass and animal cruelty.

J.W. Eddy, assistant district attorney, on Tuesday amended the criminal complaint against Palm to add charges of burglary and criminal conspiracy to commit burglary.

Stephen Guziak testified Palm shot the blue nose pit bull, named “Dubs,” between the eyes around 1 a.m. July 9 at Guziak's Coolspring Street residence. Guziak testified the dog, who was chained in his backyard when he was shot, survived but may have brain damage.

“He's not the same,” Guziak testified, describing how one of Dubs' eyes is “messed up.”

“He walks and he falls over,” Guziak testified. “He has trauma to his brain.”

Guziak testified Palm and three or four other men let themselves into his house the morning Dubs was shot and demanded $50. The money was one of several payments Guziak was to make toward a $200 cellphone he said be bought from Palm, but the cash was not due for another two days.

When Guziak told Palm he didn't have the money, Palm pointed the gun at Guziak's head and threatened him, his girlfriend and his three daughters, Guziak testified.

“He said, ‘You better get it, or I'll shoot you and the kids,'” Guziak said. “He was standing there, with a gun in my face.”

Guziak said he called his mother to ask for the money. He said he was to go to his mother's house for the $50 and that Palm and the other men then left through the back door. Palm shot the chained, barking dog as he walked out the door, Guziak said.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Deanna Fahringer, Guziak denied telling a television reporter that he didn't see who shot the dog.

Officer Eric Hanula testified he went to the house when an unidentified, third party called for help. When he arrived, he found the dog “chained, lying in a pool of blood.” Hanula said other family members took the dog to Cheat Lake Animal Hospital in Morgantown, W.Va.

In a separate incident, police said that several days after Dubs was shot, someone broke into Guziak's home and removed a brown female bearded dragon lizard, two flat-screen televisions and three computer game consoles.

Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or lzemba@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.