Landlord is found guilty of burglary
Kenneth Hood is cleared of animal cruelty in the killing of his tenant's dog
A landlord accused of breaking into his tenant's unit and killing a pet dog is guilty of burglary but not of animal cruelty.
Circuit Judge Michael Town also found Kenneth Hood, 54, not guilty yesterday of using a firearm in the commission of a separate felony and of possessing a prohibited firearm.
During a two-day nonjury trial this week, Hood said he was outside the unit at 1760 Nakula St. in Wahiawa on Jan. 29, 2006, fixing a window when the dog, a 4-year-old red-nose pit bull terrier named Boo Boo, broke through the window and bit him. Hood said he shot the dog in self-defense.
He said he retrieved the dog, which fell back into the unit, wrapped it in a blanket and placed it in a trash can. Hood also said he drank 60 to 72 ounces of alcohol before the incident.
Town said he believes Hood killed the dog, then entered the unit to remove the tenant's personal items. A Honolulu District Court judge had granted Hood the right to evict and eject the tenant, Jenna Day, four days earlier.
Town said the state did not disprove Hood's self-defense claim on the animal-cruelty charge and did not prove Hood used a firearm to commit the burglary. He said he found Hood not guilty of possessing a rifle with a barrel shorter than 16 inches because state law does not have a definition for a rifle.
Hood faces a maximum 10-year prison term and $25,000 fine when Town sentences him for first-degree burglary in October.
The incident has already cost Hood more than $82,000.
Day filed a counterclaim for damages in the eviction case. The judge had rescheduled trial three times to Dec. 20, 2006. But before trial, Day filed for summary judgment, which Honolulu District Court Judge David Lo scheduled for hearing on July 12, 2006.
By that time, Hood had moved to California. He did not attend the hearing, so Lo granted Day a default judgment of about $72,000.
Day testified that she received $42,000.
In addition to his share of the judgment, Day's lawyer Norman K.K. Lau also received $12,687 in attorney fees and $181 in costs.
Included in the judgment was $20,000 in general damages, $40,000 in punitive damages, $9,000 for unlawfully entering and taking possession of the unit, $2,750 for making it uninhabitable and $289 for Boo Boo's necropsy and cremation.