MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) --A North Valley father and son arrested for beating a dog to death with a bat last year are now on trial.
Surveillance video allegedly shows a father and son beating a dog to death with a bat and wooden stake early last year-- leaving the owner devastated.
"I mean, he was like family to us. He pretty much was a person to us. How do you beat someone to death," said Kimberly Saesee, Kuma's owner.
Tony and Sam Clendenin have been charged for the death of the animal. During opening arguments, the prosecuting attorney showed the surveillance video, pictures of the bloody weapons, and interviews with police to the jury
He also made a point to say, "the family didn't get along with the defendants."
The defense attorneys claim the Clendenins were acting is self-defense. They claim the son Sam heard a growl while in their backyard, and saw the dog had somehow gotten in their yard. He said he called for his father in fear of the dog.
The defense attorney told the jury, "This is not animal cruelty, this is two men protecting their son, and Sam taking his father's lead"
Kuma's owner, Saesee, said that's not true and took the stand to testify.
If convicted, both Clendenins could each face four years. The trial is expected to go until next Thursday.