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Man accused of hanging dog enters not guilty plea

CONYERS — A Lithonia man accused of hanging the family dog after a violent argument with his estranged wife has entered a plea of not guilty in Rockdale County Superior Court.

During an arraignment before Chief Superior Court Judge David Irwin Tuesday, the attorney for Daryl Edward Fleming, 25, waived his right for an arraignment and entered a not guilty plea to the charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, family violence simple battery and criminal trespass. Motions in the case are to be filed in the next 10 days.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred at the first of the year when Fleming picked up his estranged wife and their young daughters at her mother’s home in Newton County on the morning of Jan. 17.

The two began to argue as they were traveling back to the victim’s home on Fairway Court.

When they arrived at her home, Fleming “came around to the front passenger side and pulled her out of the car. (The victim) stated he punched and grabbed her by her lower legs and then picked her up in the air and and slammed her backwards onto the ground,” the incident report states.

Fleming then drove away with their children in the car.

The victim apparently left the scene as well, and called her mother and asked her to pick her up in the area of Salem Road, according to the report.

While she was away, Fleming returned to the house, kicked in the front door, went inside and hanged the family’s small dog from a light fixture over the staircase at the entryway, the incident report states.

When her mother arrived, the victim then asked her to take her back to her home on Fairway Court, where they saw the front door was kicked in and the dog had been killed.