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Confessed animal killer tells court he lied about his part in dragging death

June 28th, 2008, 03:55 PM
DIDSBURY -- Confessed dog killer Daniel Charles Haskett said yesterday he lied when he admitted playing a grisly role in the death of his family's pet.

His voice often quivering, Haskett told court he only admitted taking part in the gruesome killing to end his endless harassment in this central Alberta town.

Haskett, 20, said he no longer wishes to maintain his guilty plea and would like to go to trial instead.

"I entered a guilty plea because I wanted to receive whatever punishment I was going to get and move on, and to have closure for this portion of my life," he told defence lawyer Alan Pearse.

"During this episode there has been a continuous amount of harassment against me and my family, including death threats, hate mail, commands to leave the community," Haskett said.

"I was assaulted and someone fired a bullet at me while I was at home with my mother and I just don't want to deal with that anymore."

In May 2007, Haskett pleaded guilty to an Oct. 7, 2006, charge of inflicting suffering on an animal.

In a signed agreed statement of facts he admitted taking part in the torture death of family dog Daisy Duke, with a childhood friend who was then a minor.

But Haskett disputed some of the grisly facts he initially acknowledged, including using a tow rope to secure a garbage bag around the dog's neck and discussing with his friend how best to dispose of the body.

"I know it's not legal to inflict any unnecessary injury, or pain on an animal and that, of course, was not my intent," he said.

Crown prosecutor Gord Haight argued Haskett's application to withdraw his guilty plea should be rejected.

He told provincial court Judge Ian Kirkpatrick there's no way to tell whether Haskett is lying now, or then, and he entered his plea with competent legal advice.

While contrite in court, Haskett was a little more surly both arriving and leaving the Didsbury court house.

As he walked in, he shoved a female television cameraoperator and then engaged in an expletive-laced exchange with animal rights hecklers as Mounties escorted him to his mother's car.

At one point protester Drew Marceton suggested the woman was a "crack whore mother (who) raised a psychopathic killer," prompting Haskett to run at him before being restrained by police.

The judge will rule Oct. 21.