Teacher accused of killing student’s dog

Created: 01/28/2014 10:11 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The tiny village of Ramah is a tight-knit religious community: population 400.

But on Tuesday, a 4th grade teacher in Ramah is facing animal cruelty charges after being accused of shooting and killing one of his student's dogs.

"Doesn't make sense to me," said 16-year-old Wesley Scutt. "There was no reason for him to be shot."

Wesley lives in Ramah. It's far from anywhere, and easy to miss.

But that's why his mom Tammy Scutt loves living here so much.

"I'm a single mom of 4 kids and I feel like I have a huge family here," she said.

What happened to Scutt's own little family has the rest of the town talking.

"I've never felt so helpless as a mom," she said.

On Saturday, Wesley was playing in a churchyard with his little sister and some friends.

The family dog Copper wandered into a nearby vacant lot.

"All of a sudden I heard a gunshot and the dog was right there, 'cause he was excited and ran around," said Wesley.

Copper had been shot, and Wesley clearly saw the man with the gun.

"He used to be my teacher," he said.

Wesley says 4th grade teacher David Clawson turned and left.

He didn't say anything, he just walked off with the rifle," said Wesley.

Copper was dying.

"I picked him up and it was like blood all over my hands and two bullet holes," said Wesley.

His mom says she's heartbroken over losing Copper, but thankful it wasn't much worse.

"I mean any of these kids could have been hit with that bullet," she said.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 confirmed Clawson is on administrative leave from his job at the elementary school. Wesley's little sister is in his class.

"I just tried to make sure my sister didn't see it," said Wesley.

Clawson faces animal cruelty and negligent use of a deadly weapon charges.

A KOB crew went to his house, but he didn't come to the door.

"I hope he goes to jail," said Wesley.

Wesley says he and his little sister will never forget what happened.

"He was probably the dog who loved us the most," he said. "He was a good dog."

The McKinley County Sheriff's Office is the agency investigating the incident, and scutt says she is following through on pressing charges.

Clawson is getting paid, but isn't allowed to teach while he's investigated.

He was not available to tell KOB whether anything happened to cause him to shoot the dog.

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