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Jailed killer of dog sues dog's owner

Published: Saturday, March 1 2003 12:00 a.m. MST

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A man who threw a dog to its death in a fit of road rage three years ago is suing the dog's former owner and a newspaper, alleging mental anguish.

The dog's former owner, Sara McBurnett, responded by calling Andrew Burnett a "pathological liar." An attorney for the San Jose Mercury News called the lawsuit frivolous.

Andrew Burnett is seeking more than $1 million. He was sentenced to three years in jail for the death of Leo, a bichon frise whose owner tapped Burnett's bumper in rainy-day traffic in February 2000 near the San Jose Airport. Burnett threw the dog into traffic before driving off.

Burnett, who is still in prison, filed the complaint Feb. 19.

Burnett says McBurnett defamed him to the media and blames the San Jose Mercury News for "knowingly and maliciously" printing libel about him.

"Everything he says is a lie," McBurnett said. "He was found guilty in a court of law by a jury."

Newspaper attorney James Chadwick called the lawsuit frivolous.

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