Mass. man accused of killing dog in family fight

Updated:

CHARLTON (AP) - A Navy recruiter is accused of killing his family dog during a domestic argument.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports 39-year-old Thomas Knowlton of Charlton pleaded not guilty Monday in Dudley District Court to assault and battery and animal cruelty. Knowlton was released on personal recognizance in custody of a Naval officer and ordered to stay away from his wife.

Defense attorney John Bowes said Knowlton is devastated by the incident, which was an "emotional response" to stress.

Police said Knowlton's wife told officers he grabbed her by the throat and threw her on a couch when they argued Saturday night. She said Knowlton later left their bedroom and returned telling her he hurt the dog. She said found it in a pool of blood.

Police didn't say how the 12-year-old Shi-Tzu died.