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Owner of abandoned dog gets 4 days in jail, community service

GRAND FORKS, N.D. - The owner of a dog found dead and emaciated in an unoccupied Grand Forks apartment pleaded guilty today to a charge of abandoning an animal and was sentenced to four days in jail and 100 hours of community service.

Johnell Hallman, 24, turned himself in today at the Grand Forks County jail and appeared in state District Court that afternoon, a jail spokesman said.

A judge directed Hallman, who plans to live in Minneapolis, to contact a humane society there about completing his community service.

On Sept. 8, a property manager, who was checking to see if Hallman's apartment had been vacated, discovered the body of Lyric, a 5-year-old female Pekingese, authorities said.

Police said the deceased dog appeared malnourished; there was no food or water available; and there were feces throughout the unit.

Hallman told an officer he had been in Minneapolis for more than a month and thought a friend was caring for his dog. Hallman would not tell the officer the name of that friend, court documents show.