Jamestown man accused of hanging dog released from custody

Local News

The man accused of hanging a dog on a tree in Jamestown has been released from jail.

Robert Overton, 48, filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in Chautauqua County Court, and asked to be released from custody.

Ned Barone, Overton’s attorney, said Overton filed the request because the case has not been presented to a grand jury yet.

“The district attorney had to present for indictment within 45 days, which he didn’t do,” Barone said.

Overton was released from the Chautauqua County Jail in Mayville on Tuesday.

The Jamestown man was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals on April 5th. In a statement written to police the day before, he admitted to hanging his dog, who was named “Champagne”.

“I hung her on a tree branch,” Overton wrote.

According to Barone, Overton now claims to be innocent of the charge against him.

Late Wednesday evening, Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson said he still intends to present the case to a grand jury.

“As soon as the schedule allows,” Swanson responded to a question about when that would happen.

“It is not uncommon on low level felonies,” he said about the inability to present the case before the 45-day limit was up. “Scheduling time that works well with all witnesses is typically the issue. (The) grand jury only meets once per week.”

Prosecutors have until October to indict Overton on the felony charge. In the interim, Overton will remain free.

Barone said habeas corpus motions are becoming more and more common in the criminal justice system.

“It depends on the county, but we’re seeing several writs being filed by inmates themselves quite frankly because they do become somewhat familiar with the rules of criminal procedure in New York State,” he said.

Note: WNY News Now provided video for this story.

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