BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A man charged with killing a neighbor’s dog in Bellingham has died before his case could go to trial.
Deputy prosecutor Shannon Connor tells the Bellingham Herald that 56-year-old David William Latham died last week of natural causes.
Authorities say Latham was annoyed by a barking dog, so he armed himself with a rifle, walked across the street, aimed over a fence and shot 1-year-old corgi Molly in front of her owners.
Molly was not the dog barking.
Latham was charged with first-degree animal cruelty, brandishing a weapon, and criminal trespassing in September.
He pleaded not guilty and was released on $20,000 bail. He surrendered his dog and could not own another while awaiting trial.
After his case garnered attention on social media, Latham lost his job and moved.
The Latham family released the following statement:
“I am and always have been truly sorry for Molly, and the loss her family has experienced. My father’s actions that night are not excusable, and to do so is not the purpose of this message.
David Latham was not the heinous killer he is now seen for. People that knew him remember a fun loving, kind and thoughtful man. He worked very hard his entire life and took great care of those he loved. He was an excellent cook, had a great sense of humor, and was loved very much by his sons, grandsons and many others.
In the last year and a half he has been struggling with some medical conditions and has not been himself. He described his mind as “foggy” and was often confused. He was an animal lover his entire life and what he did that night was 100% out of character. He never understood why he acted out the way he did, and his remorse was unbearable. The man that did this was not the man that my family knew and loved.
Again, I am so sorry for Molly’s family and their loss, and I ask that people keep in mind my family is grieving too.”
The group Justice for Molly the Corgi posted this on their Facebook page: