Home Grand jury issues indictment in shooting death of Virginia service dog
Local, Public Safety

Grand jury issues indictment in shooting death of Virginia service dog

Crystal Graham
Joeseph Sande with Bear
Joeseph Sande with Bear, submitted

An Augusta County Circuit Court grand jury indicted Louis Edward Davis, 67, for the death of his neighbor’s service dog, Buddy Bear, today.

The Commonwealth Attorney’s office confirmed that the grand jury found a “true bill” in the case which means the evidence presented Monday showed probable cause that a crime was committed.

Davis’ attorney set the case for a plea on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, at 2:30 p.m. in Augusta County Circuit Court.

A trial date will be set at the plea hearing, and the defendant will have the opportunity to waive a jury trial if a bench trial is preferred.

If a jury trial is waived, a judge alone will determine whether to convict or acquit Davis.

Davis faces a Class 6 felony for cruelty to animals; and a Class 1 misdemeanor for reckless handling of a firearm.

The service dog, Buddy Bear, was allegedly shot and killed by Davis with a .44 Magnum revolver on Sept. 15 in the Cherry Orchard subdivision, according to court testimony from Augusta County Sheriff 1st Sgt. Michael Roane, at a preliminary hearing in Augusta County General District Court on Dec. 5.

The service dog’s owner, Joeseph Sande, and his wife, Edith, had moved to Virginia weeks before his dog was shot and killed. Sande, who served in Afghanistan, Bagram, Kuwait and Iraq, said that Bear helped him with PTSD and terrible nightmares.

“Bear reminded me to take all my medication,” Sande told AFP in a December interview. “And he helped me with night terrors and to calm down from flashbacks. Now my wife has to deal with the nightmares. She ended up losing her job because I was constantly blowing up her phone, messaging her when things happened and when I had anxiety attacks.”

The Sandes have a protective order against Davis, and his wife, Teresa, through May 28.

Teresa Davis faces a misdemeanor assault charge for a Sept. 28 incident where she allegedly attempted to run down Sande while he was on a walk with his surviving husky, Hazel. At a hearing on Dec. 5, Augusta County General District Court Judge Rupen Shah continued the assault case until May 28 at 10 a.m. giving in his words time “to see how the parties behave.”

A neighbor, Renee Roberts, also had a protective order granted against Louis Davis since the incident occurred nearby her home and because Davis has allegedly threatened her dogs in the past.

Davis is currently out on bond, but he is not allowed to return to his home until the court process is complete.

View all stories on the murder of Buddy Bear here.

Charges against Virginia man who killed vet’s service dog go to the grand jury
Published date: December 5, 2023 | 7:56 pm

Virginia military veteran speaks out about service dog’s murder, justice ahead of court date
Published date: December 4, 2023 | 12:25 pm

GoFundMe account set up for veteran whose service dog was shot and killed by neighbor
Published date: October 9, 2023 | 3:14 pm

Protective orders granted for vet, neighbor from man, wife in service dog shooting case
Published date: October 6, 2023 | 10:47 am

Explainer: Details of the case involving the Augusta County man who killed a vet’s service dog
Published date: October 3, 2023 | 3:01 pm

Wife of man accused of killing service dog attempts to run down vet, second husky
Published date: September 29, 2023 | 11:47 am

Augusta County: Conditions for bond released for man accused of killing veteran’s service dog
Published date: September 27, 2023 | 9:44 am

Augusta County judge approves bond for man accused of killing vet’s service dog
Published date: September 26, 2023 | 1:54 pm

Augusta County: Bond appeal filed by man accused of killing neighbor’s service dog
Published date: September 21, 2023 | 10:02 am

Bond denied for Augusta County man accused of shooting service dog
Published date: September 19, 2023 | 5:23 pm

New to Virginia, Augusta County military vet’s service dog shot and killed by neighbor
Published date: September 18, 2023 | 3:21 pm

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.