Dogs, guns, neighbors: settled in court

Two cases involving neighbor-to-neighbor disputes were settled in Rappahannock County District Court Tuesday (Aug. 9).

Attorney Jonathan Lienhard appeared in court representing Flint Hill resident Michael Sands, owner, with his wife Betsy Dietel, of Anatolian shepherd guard dogs. In April, two dozen neighbors along Bean Hollow and Bear Wallow roads signed a petition asking that the dogs be removed. The petition followed at least three attacks on pets within a week in late April, according to neighbor Don Winland, who circulated the petition. No humans were assaulted by the dogs.

As part of a plea agreement, Lienhard told the court, Sands and Dietel had already removed the dogs from Virginia and agreed to pay restitution to the owners of the injured dogs. Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff confirmed the agreement and asked that the case be continued until next May, at which time he plans to dismiss the case if the dogs are kept out of state.

Sean Knick of Washington, charged in April with brandishing a firearm in a confrontation with neighbor Kim Burgers, entered into a “peace bond,” which is a court-ordered recognizance to keep the peace and be of good behavior for a certain period of time. Under the conditions of the peace bond, Knick is ordered to have no violent contact with Burgers for one year, under penalty of having to pay the $2,500 bond.

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