Jury awards Star City man $145K for his executed coon dog

A Lincoln County jury awarded a Star City man $145,000 this week after a Monroe County man shot and killed his $10,000 hunting dog.

Newell Gill and three hunting companions, Mackie Edmonds, Lee Edward McGriff, and Darrel McGee, all of Star City, were coon hunting in late 2012 on the North Branch of White River National Refuge in Monroe County when their dogs crossed over onto private property and treed a raccoon.

The dogs had trailed and treed raccoons that were attracted to corn dispensed by deer corn feeders on the landowner’s property, according to Gill’s attorney, Charles Sidney Gibson of Dermott.

Gibson said coon dogs cannot be called off once they tree; they have to be pulled off by hand and leashed.

Though there were posted signs on the property, there was no phone number to call for permission to retrieve the dogs. “The hunters rightfully put away their guns and went to retrieve the dogs,” Gibson said.

When they did so, they encountered an irate man armed with a rifle. 

The man, Frank Newby of Holly Grove, threatened to shoot the dogs and the hunters if they attempted to retrieve the dogs.

Over Newby’s objections, Gill retrieved his dog, a 4-year-old treeing Walker named Buck, and leashed him.

Newby then ordered Gill to back away from the dog so he could shoot him. Gill refused and the man shot the leashed dog.

“It was a horrible experience for Newel Gill to helplessly watch his leashed dog’s execution then thrash around his feet in agony,” Gibson said. “Gill has nightmares yet about that night.”

Gill filed a civil suit against the man and was awarded $145,000.

The 5-man, 7-woman Lincoln County jury on Wednesday awarded Gill $100,000 in punitive damages and $45,000 in compensatory damages.

In the criminal case in Monroe County last year, Newby was convicted of a misdemeanor, fined, and sentenced to six months in jail.

Gibson said he doesn’t know how much of that sentence, if any, Newby served.

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43 Responses to “Jury awards Star City man $145K for his executed coon dog”

  1. Mark Mason

    What does this mean?

    Reply
  2. Cynthia

    Good for him. Finally some justice in these cases. People should learn some respect. He put away his and just wanted his dog. The guy’s life was NOT in danger and therefore had no right to shoot the dog other than for spite. I wish more similar cases would go in this direction.

    Reply
  3. SC born & raised

    It’s not about the money awarded – it’s about someone being mean and killing a dog that wouldn’t have hurt him or his property at that point!
    I feel like Mr. Gill was lucky he wasn’t shot!

    Reply
  4. Patrick

    Good. What a moron. I would have ended up in prison because I would have shot him.

    Reply
    • Rodney atkins

      I would be in prison too.The man who shot the dog should go to prison for reckless endangerment by shooting a weapon in close proximity to people while threatening them as well.

      Reply
  5. TRISH MONROE PHILLIPS COUNTY

    Finally. I was on site earlier the night of this horrible incident and these dogs were eager to hunt and the men were all legal and licensed properly

    Reply
  6. Sherri Patterson

    What a horrible mean cruel man, to kill a dog without reason. I can only imagine the horror Mr. Gill. suffered.

    Reply
  7. RIP Phoebe

    I agree with previous poster. There is finally some justice in these cases where people are horribly mistreating animals. In the fall of 2012, my 2 yr old son’s dog was shot with a bow and arrow through her neck while playing in the woods behind our house. We called police to speak with who we thought had done it, as he had threatened husband/dog because it was caught on camera “scaring” deer. Nothing was ever done about it of course. So sad that people can be so cruel to beloved pets.

    Reply
  8. Joe

    Now we are paying people $145,000 to tresspass on legally posted property.

    Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it.

    Reply
    • KC

      I’m all about private property rights, but it’s dumbasses like you that think that dogs can read posted/no trespassing signs. The owners attempted to retrieve their dog and the man shot a leashed dog putting everyone there at risk.

      Reply
    • HDM

      That dude should be lucky he is still alive to pay the 145,000!! It may have been his property but a dog knows no boundaries when he is on a chase. Sorry POS!

      Reply
    • JAMES

      Prosecute them, don’t shoot, moron!

      Reply
    • Lu

      They have the right to go retrieve there dogs after leaving their guns. Dont be so ignorant. Learn the facts before you open your mouth.

      Reply
  9. michael bearden

    i dont see how anyone could b so unrational. the law ought to allow the dog owner to beat the livin hell out of that man. shootin a mans dog for no reason is bout as low as u can get.

    Reply
  10. William Johnston

    I’ve never seen a dog that could read a posted sign! I’ve chased coon dogs for over 5 miles before they treed. This moron that shot the dog should have been thankful,Racoons eat more corn than deer. But anyway I’d have either been lying next to the dog or the other guy would have..glad the jury saw in favor of the dog,now I hope he collects or owns some Monroe County property .

    Reply
  11. dellia sizemore smith

    Thank God, Civilization has came to Arkansas. MR.GILL was determined to see his dog got justice and he had the money to back him up. Newby, from my understanding was long over due for what he got . I am so happy he finely got his. Now we will see if this stops some of this brutality to our helpless animals ……. There is a long way to go when the Sheriff calls to let a person know the Humane Society is looking to learn your name because you are starving your horse. You would think the Sheriff would call the Humane Society and say ,here is the guys name but no, he calls the suspect , so the suspect tells me. Could this be so the suspect can go move his horse so the Humane Society won’t be able to find the starving horse. Well it didn’t work. I came up to feed the horse and caught the man. AND, YES , he was planning on moving the horse .

    Reply
  12. kaylor

    For the nightmares this man will have for the rest of his life. It could have been more.

    Reply
  13. Mary Falken

    the property should have been fenced in securely. that was first. That way the dogs would not been able to go on to it.
    I wouldn’t leave a 10,000 dollar dog either. who would expect a man to kill a leashed dog?

    Reply
  14. Michelle R

    Both were wrong in this instance…the land owner was clearly wrong but so are the coon hunters. As a property owner I get tired of being trespassed on with the excuse of coon hunters that dogs can’t read and coon dogs can’t be called off. They seem to feel it is a license to go wherever they want. Doubt they would like it much if I said my Lab couldn’t be called off a pool so I thought I would come swim in your backyard.

    Reply
    • Kathryn S

      The difference is the men were not going for a leisurely hunt on his property using the dogs’ inability to read as an excuse. They were simply trying to retrieve the animals who were behaving as such. It would be just as cruel and inhumane for a homeowner to shoot your lab for jumping in his pool as you tried to correct the situation (get the lab out of the pool).

      Reply
      • jc

        dog should not have been shot, but Kathryn trespassing is trespassing. Having a dog on someone else’s property does not give anyone the right to trespass.

        Reply
        • Lu

          There are laws protecting hunters who coon hunt in most states saying that they must leave there guns and are able retrieve their dogs after doing so. So that is wrong

          Reply
    • Fonzy

      Yep. We had a dog that would go to the neighbors house and get in their pool. The law said the should fence their pool, animals can’t read.

      Reply
    • Rodney atkins

      Its the law.Wildlife belongs to everyone and has a right on everyone’s land thus the hunting dogs have a right too but not the hunter to cross your property without game warden.That is one reason we pay wardens.

      Reply
  15. Mark Mason

    Anybody know what happened to the coon?

    Reply
  16. Sassy

    I agree with Dellia regarding law enforcement warning their ‘good ol boy buddy’ about animal neglect and cruelty complaints. It is a very sick world we live in. I constantly see new dogs in the my neighborhood stuck into a small pen with no shelter whatsoever. Calls have been made to the law and they seem to make a half ass effort to be SEEN at the residence but then nothing gets done. I hate it that we can’t just call the Humane Society instead of having to go thru the ‘good ol boy’ system that probably treats their own dogs and horses the same way. It’s a crying shame for all the animals.

    Reply
    • Lonewolf

      I wish they had gotten him for 245,000.00 dollars. They were hunting on the refuge where they were legal and left their guns there to go retrieve the dog. What else where they suppose to do? This guy sounds like a idiot and a bully.

      Reply
    • dellia sizemore smith

      sassy, if you are in Monticello you can call me, 367-3767 and if the dog has no shelter ,no water, starving or pen is to small we can see to it . Outside it is a little harder BUT IT CAN BE DONE.

      Reply
  17. Buddy

    I don’t know any of the people involved or any more about the story than what I have read here.
    So here is just some thoughts, thinking outside the box of facts presented.
    1) The land owner must of had trouble with hunters before, why else would he be up in the middle of the night where the dogs treed?
    2) The hunter may not have known who the posted land belonged to, but he did know who it did NOT belong to and it did NOT belong to the hunter. In Texas even a Game Warden cannot go on posted land.
    3) If the hunter would invest $10,000 in property instead of a dog, he would have his own land to hunt on,
    4) That begs the question, with $145,000 to invest will the hunter buy his own land to hunt?

    Reply
    • Gary

      Buddy, that’s probably the dumbest comment in this thread.

      Reply
      • Joey

        Agreed!!

        Reply
        • Edgar Roupe

          Buddy has evidently never owned a real working dog, and his remarks are those of a non-hunter. My best friend for as long as she lived was a Walker, a fine squirrel dog that never showed much interest in coons. I think that that dog loved me just as much as any person ever did, and more than most. I’m glad Gill got justice for his hunting friend.

          Reply
          • tbone

            buddy is a fool in Texas a game warden can go anywhere he wants posted or not

    • Lu

      please take your dumb statement somewhere else.

      Reply
  18. tomhorn

    I would have to hear the whole story. I coon hunt have most of my life. Some guys will turns loose knowing their dogs are going to cross over. Does that give you the right to shoot their dog nooo. That gives you the right to call a warden and let them handle it. Then you have guys that are legit and never meant to even get close to your property. But it just happened. Clearly for a person to kill a dog standing beside a human has issues that need to be delt with hard either by authorities or late at night. Some people these days have alot of issues. Too many city people coming to the country.

    Reply
    • Rodney atkins

      Agree city people don’t understand the code of country people.

      Reply
  19. Starcitygirl

    It’s crazy people like some of you that post comments when they clearly know nothing about what happened. People like you are what causes trouble just like mr. Newby. All the men that were involved are wonderful, upstanding, christian,family men in our community. They will help anyone that needs it. They were clearly not “hunting” on the posted property or they would have not put their guns away before they went onto the property. None of these men “knew” Newby, because he is clearly not the type of person these men would share a meal with. Mr Newby hadn’t had “trouble” with these men before. These men were only trying to explain to him why they were on the property (which I understand he doesn’t own either, he has the lease). Mr Newby was just trying to show his buddies he was a big dog, but now they know he was just a coward with a gun! Mr Gill did not take him to court to win any money, nor does Mr Gill need that money to buy his own land to hunt on, but I’m sure he will have a big smile on his face if he ever sees a 10$ check with Newbys signature on it. Mr Newby if you get a chance to read this message I would personally like to say, you, Mr Newby, are one cowardly, cold hearted, piece of crap. You could have easily shot the man that was holding that leash and you would have had the wrath of this whole family coming down on you.

    Reply
  20. Terry

    I’d have told the hunters to go back, get their guns, take care of the coon and please try to be more careful next time.

    Reply
  21. ethan

    Yes it gets a little annoying when dogs come on land. I put up wid it in deer hunting but the only reason i have a problem wid it is because the people like to try and hunt it but if they put there guns up and just had there leashes to go get there dogs and he knew that then he shoots the dog on the leash to hell no he deserved to half to pay but all I got to say to the man that owned the dog you are a better man then I am cause if he would of shot my dog like that he wouldn’t be around to tell about it.

    Reply

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