Despite being found not guilty last March in the shooting deaths of two hunting dogs, Stan Diamanti of Bar XX has been held liable for a portion of damages in a civil suit filed by the dogsÂ´ owner.
The dogs were tracking down a mountain lion for the state Fish and Game Department in the area during the early-morning hours of May 26, 2002.
Diamanti said he shot the dogs because they were prowling around his chicken pen, and he did not know they were tracking dogs until he discovered radio collars on the canines after they were dead.
He was acquitted in the criminal trial last March by a jury that also declared the state negligent for not better notifying property owners about the hunt.
The dogsÂ´ owner, Lewie Peck, filed a civil suit against Diamanti, seeking $15,000 for the lost dogs.
Last week a jury broke down the percentage of negligence involved in the matter, and decided Diamanti was responsible for 10 percent of the damages.
Peck himself was held responsible for 10 percent of the damage, while “all other persons” were deemed responsible for the remaining 80 percent. DiamantiÂ´s attorney, Jeffrey W. Lambert said those include Calaveras County and trapper Jim Fraguero, who is a federal trapper who works for the county.
But because those “other persons” were not included in PeckÂ´s suit, Diamanti is responsible for their portion of damages as well, Lambert said.
Peck is a Stockton resident who has helped various agencies track game for 30 years.
The animals killed were two 6-year-old Walker hounds named Deuce and Newt.
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