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Ex-Tabiona councilman charged again after second dog shooting

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12 2013 10:55 a.m. MST

TABIONA, Duchesne County — A man who resigned from the Tabiona Town Council after he shot and killed a neighbor's dog in 2011 is in trouble with the law again in a case that also involves a dog, a gun and alcohol.

Rickey Evin Wilberg was charged Monday in 8th District Court with possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; discharging a firearm, a class B misdemeanor; possession of marijuana, a class B misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor; and intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.

Duchesne County sheriff's deputies went to Wilberg's home about 1:45 a.m. on Feb. 6, after neighbors reported hearing gunshots.

Wilberg told deputies he shot one of his dogs in his front yard with a .357-caliber pistol, then put the animal in his garbage can and shot it again "so the dog would not suffer," according to charging documents.

The shooting took place after the dachshund bit Wilberg's hand, Duchesne County Sheriff's Sgt. Carl Reilley said.

Deputies said they spotted drug paraphernalia and marijuana while they were talking to Wilberg inside his home. A Breathalyzer test administered at the Duchesne County Jail measured his blood-alcohol content at 0.137, the charges state.

In May 2011, Wilberg used a .22-caliber rifle to kill a Chihuahua puppy named Rocky. Investigators said he told them he shot Rocky because he was “sick of listening to the dog barking.”

The puppy was in its owner's backyard. Wilberg admitted that he had been drinking vodka before the shooting, deputies said.

Wilberg, 60, resigned from his seat on the Tabiona Town Council after charges were filed. He pleaded guilty in September 2011 to a reduced charge of aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class A misdemeanor. The charge had originally been filed as a third-degree felony.

In addition to reducing the animal cruelty charge, a judge dismissed an intoxication charge in exchange for Wilberg's guilty plea.

Wilberg was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail, placed on probation for 24 months, and ordered to pay a $750 fine and $1,000 in restitution to Rocky's owner. 

Wilberg is set to make his first court appearance on the new charges on Feb. 28.

E-mail: gliesik@desnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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