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Siblings will be tried in dog death

Brother and sister are accused of stabbing, disemboweling their aunt¿s cocker spaniel mix.

February 24, 2012|By Maria Hsin, maria.hsin@latimes.com

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled on Wednesday that there is sufficient evidence for a case involving two siblings arrested on suspicion of stabbing their aunt’s dog to death to go to trial.

Charissa Bodtcher, 23, and her brother, 18-year-old Timo Bodtcher, are due back in court March 7 to face felony animal cruelty charges after witnesses described in gory detail the scene in which their aunt’s cocker spaniel mix was found bleeding profusely on Feb. 4 at a house in Burbank.

Ruth Sicat, the sister of the dog’s owner, Ingrid Maynez, testified Wednesday that she heard Charissa Bodtcher curse at the dog before she allegedly stabbed it about 10 times with a 12-inch hunting knife, according to prosecutors.

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Timo Bodtcher held the dog down with both hands as his sister stabbed the dog, Sicat testified.

The dog, Prince, was described as black and white, about a 1 1/2 feet tall and 2 1/2 feet long.

Burbank Police Officer Brent Feckety, who arrived at the scene of the incident in the 200 block of East Cedar Avenue that day, testified that he saw a trail of blood leading to the top of the steps, where Prince was still barely alive. The officer told the court that the dog was “bleeding heavily” and was “sliced open” in a way that made his intestines hang out.

Prince died later that day.

Timo Bodtcher allegedly told the officer that day that the dog was “crazy” and “bites people.”

Police have said the pair’s mother, Maria Theresa Bodtcher, 47, helped cover up the incident after her children fled the scene, disposing of the knife near a dumpster at a shopping mall near Victory Boulevard and Vineland Avenue.

She was arrested on suspicion of being an accessory to a crime, but the judge released her on her own recognizance.

Her charge was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor this week, and she was sentenced to three years of probation.

She must also participate in a community service program for 30 days.

Vatche Tashjian, Maria Bodtcher’s attorney, said his client’s sentence was reduced because she has a “clean record, was not involved in the stabbing of the dog, and wasn’t even in the area — she was at home, asleep.”

Maria Bodtcher is a teacher at Los Angeles Unified School District.

The siblings, arrested Feb. 4, have posted $20,000 bail each.

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