A Steuben man convicted of aggravated animal cruelty in the shooting death of Franky, a Winter Harbor terrier-pug, was sentenced Wednesday to serve one year in prison.

In Hancock County Superior Court, Justice Robert Murray also sentenced Justin Chipman, 24, to a year of probation upon his release. However, the defendant intends to appeal his conviction, said his attorney, Robert Van Horn.

Justin Chipman in Hancock County Superior Court Ellsworth American photo

Meanwhile, Chipman is free pending the outcome of his appeal. If an appeal is not filed within 20 days, he must report to the Hancock County Jail by Jan. 30, Murray said.

Before the judge ruled on sentencing, Franky’s owner, Philip Torrey of Winter Harbor, spoke about the effect the dog’s killing had on his family and the tight-knit Winter Harbor community.

“Everybody looks out for everybody else and it’s been that way for generations,” the lobsterman said. “We feel like that was really stripped from us.”

Torrey said his niece, who lived with him, had nightmares after Franky was killed. She and his son were worried about the safety of the family’s other dog and were reluctant to let the dog outside alone.

“It’s affected so much of our life,” Torrey said.

“No matter what happens today, you feel like that’s never going to heal,” he told the judge.

Chipman was convicted after a Nov. 14, 2019, bench trial. In addition to aggravated cruelty to animals, he was sentenced to concurrent sentences for burglary, theft, unauthorized use and criminal mischief.

About a dozen people sat in the courtroom gallery in support of Torrey and about eight of Chipman’s family and friends attended.

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