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Gruesome images of shot dog shown in St. John's court during home invasion trial

From left, Gary Hennessy, Mitchell Nippard and Abdifatah Mohamed in court in St. John’s on Tuesday morning.
From left, Gary Hennessy, Mitchell Nippard and Abdifatah Mohamed in court in St. John’s on Tuesday morning. - David Maher

Accused home invader Mitchell Nippard just shrugged his shoulders when evidence of a dead boxer dog was presented Tuesday during a home invasion trial.

Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Const. Sherry Legge took the stand at the trial on Tuesday with gruesome evidence. During the crime spree on Feb. 9, 2017, the accused allegedly made their way to 18 Mount Royal Ave. in St. John’s.

When police responded to the scene, they found the body of Al, a boxer dog, dead on the floor underneath a towel, covered in blood. Another boxer named Capone was shot twice below the neck, but survived.

Legge said it was hard to tell the extent of the injuries of the deceased animal, given the amount of blood found at the scene.

Nippard is charged shooting both dogs and killing Al.

Outside the home, police found garbage bags and a safe. Inside the bags were saran wrapped bags of a white substance and a bag of marijuana. Inside the safe were four zip-lock bags, each containing 115 grams of cocaine.

The alleged home invaders then made their way back to Paradise, where a black Mazda 3 sedan with Ontario plates was abandoned on Dawe’s Road, near Three Pond Island. Inside the car, police found items believed to have been stolen in the home invasions, including a gold chain, a watch and a glasses case. Mohamed Salim’s ID was also found inside the car.

Salim, 28, was the fifth man believed to have been involved in the spree. He was found dead March 3 in a quarry off the Trans-Canada Highway near Paradise. It is believed he died in the cold while attempting to escape from police.

Outside the car, a .22 calibre Kuger pistol was found, with eight bullets still inside. No fingerprints were found on the weapon. Also found at the scene were an Xbox and controllers stolen from one of their previous stops.

Nippard, 26, along with Gary Hennessy, 33, Tyler Donahue, 24, and Abdifatah Mohamed, 28, are accused of committing home invasions last year.

The four are facing a slew of charges in connection with four home invasions in February 2017, during which victims were reportedly tied up, assaulted and robbed.

Throughout the court proceedings Tuesday, Nippard and Hennessy whispered to one another in the prisoners’ dock, sometimes laughing. When photos of Nippard the night he was arrested were presented in court, the pair smiled as they looked them over.

Mohamed, who is representing himself in the trial, sits at the other end of the dock. He didn’t have any questions for witnesses called during Tuesday’s proceedings.

Donahue is the only accused granted bail in the case. He sits near the front of the courtroom and also chats with Nippard and Hennessy throughout the trial, laughing from time to time with his co-accused.

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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