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Underwood man pleads guilty to slitting dog's throat

Benjamin Stavaas

An Underwood man accused of slitting a dog's throat last year pleaded guilty Thursday in Otter Tail County Court.

Benjamin James Stavaas, 23, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of animal torture.

According to court documents, Stavaas admitted to slitting Star the dog's in throat in June 2010 and leaving her to die. Documents state Stavaas was angry at the dog for chasing a car. Star was eventually discovered after she wandered into a yard. Surgery was performed on the dog to treat her throat.

After failing to appear at his hearing in July, a warrant for Stavaas was issued, according to court records. He was discovered in December, when he was arrested in Golden, Colo. on burglary, theft and criminal mischief charges.

A jury trial for Stavaas was scheduled for July 12, but was cancelled. Another trial was scheduled for Nov. 15, but has since been cancelled.

Stavaas originally faced six animal cruelty and torture charges. His sentencing date is Dec. 15.