HARRISVILLE - A 32-year-old ex-Marine faces a preliminary hearing Oct. 16 on charges he abused and tortured dogs and horses under his care.
Eighty-first District Court Judge Allen Yenior ruled Wednesday that Timothy A. Pawloski was competent to stand trial on charges in June that he abused and tortured five dogs and six horses he kept on property he rented at 3037 W. Fowler Road, Glennie.
"I took care of my animals like I was supposed to," Pawloski said a day before his hearing.
News Photo by Betsy Lehndorff
Tim A. Palowski, right, appears in an Alcona County court room Wednesday on charges of animal cruelty and torture. Judge Allen Yenior said the ex-Marine was receiving too much in disability payments to qualify for court appointed attorney Keith Moir, left.
The case began May 6, when Deputy Mike London visited Pawloski's home, responding to a complaint that animals were being abused.
According to an arrest affidavit, the deputy warned Pawloski to provide food for the animals, who appeared to be thin and undernourished. London said there did not appear to be any food, and Pawloski said he was getting dog food and hay later that day.
London returned May 17, saw there was no food and told Pawloski to get the animals checked by a veterinarian. That same day, one of the dogs was missing and was found inside the house unable to walk. According to the affidavit, Pawloski said he had hit the animal while towing a disc.
All five dogs were unlicensed, so London gave Pawloski a ticket for $180.
On May 18, London returned with a large bag of dog food, meeting Dawn Marie Desjardins at the home. The 33-year-old woman said she was concerned about a pitbull Pawloski didn't like. She said Pawloski was thinking of killing the dog. The deputy seized the dog and took it to a veterinarian, where it was diagnosed as having air around its heart and blood in its stool. It also appeared to be starving.
Another woman, Ciara Rygwelski, said Pawloski was only providing water for the animals, and that she was feeding them because he wouldn't.
Pawloski was arrested on May 20 on a charge of abandoning and cruelty to four to 10 animals. He was provided a court-appointed attorney and posted a $5,000 bond. He also asked for a mental competency evaluation. Probate Court Judge Laura Frawley said the examination probably would show he was a sociopath. Frawley also told him as a condition of his bond to feed the animals on his property.
London, accompanied by a veterinarian, returned to the property on May 30 along with Alcona Undersheriff Matthew Perkins and found there was no feed for the animals.
On June 1, another deputy was called to the property to investigate a complaint that one of the horses had been poisoned. The animal was laying on the ground and appeared to be starving. The horse died the next day after a couple tried to provide care for it. An examination later showed the horse had suffered long-term starvation and acute mild colic.
Pawloski was stopped around 3:30 a.m. on June 3 for speeding on M-72 and McGregor Road, driving a red Chevrolet Impala. He was arrested for driving without a license that had been suspended, revoked or denied. He was also arrested on a charge of killing and torturing animals and posted a bond of $20,000 to get out of jail.
Yenior was given the case on Aug. 7 after Pawloski, through his attorney, asked to have Frawley removed as judge.
Former friends declined to talk about Pawloski for fear of retribution.
According to online records, Pawloski, then of Caseville, was pulled over November 2010 and arrested for having a loaded .44 caliber handgun with a scope concealed in his truck. His Alcona County files also indicated a charge of breaking and entering.
According to forms, Pawloski was in the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq for almost four years and was injured. He is now receiving $3,000 a month in disability payments and reportedly suffers from PTSD.
In court Wednesday, Yenior said Pawloski makes $36,000 a year tax free, and thus does not qualify for a court-appointed attorney. He also asked Pawloski to pay the dog licensing fine of $180, but Pawloski said he didn't have the money.
Pawloski said he had one daughter, and thus qualified as being low-income, then said he had a second child, but the judge said he still makes too much money to qualify for aid. Pawloski also said the competency evaluation was not complete and he needed an additional evaluation.
Yenoir ruled otherwise and warned him to be ready to pay the $180 fine when he returns to court at 11 a.m. Oct. 16.
"If you don't, make sure you have your tooth brush with you or you're going to jail," Yenior said.
Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.