Merced father and son found guilty of killing their neighbors' dog will avoid prison for crime

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- The video shocked the community-- the surveillance footage showed a father and son beating a dog to death. Anthony and Samuel Clendenin walked into the courtroom Thursday after being found guilty weeks ago for killing Kuma, their neighbor's German Shepherd. The judge sentenced both the men to serve 10 months in county jail and three years probation.

"Everything that they've done to my family it really isn't enough," said Kim Saesee, Kuma's owner.

Thomas Min, the prosecuting attorney, argued in court that this was not just an animal cruelty case, but premeditated murder of a family pet. They asked for a maximum sentence and said the outcome is disappointing. However, defense attorney Bill Davis said because his clients did not have a criminal background, he said the judge's decision was appropriate.

"He's seen serious criminal cases involving harm to human beings and knew this was a probation case based on the lack of record of my client and his son. I think the amount of time they got was consistent with the jury's verdict."

Outside the courtroom, Kuma's supporters held justice for Kuma signs as the Clendenins walked out of the courthouse. Deanna Clendenin said the past 18 months have been difficult for the family, and this was not the outcome they were expecting. She said all the accusations against her husband and son have been lies, and this is a huge privacy issue.

"It's nerve-wracking, especially when we have animals we were protecting. We were protecting our family and our property and our animals too. It was in our backyard."

Saesee said her aunt and uncle have moved from the home to live with family where they feel safer. She said the pain of losing Kuma still lingers, and while justice was served it wasn't enough.

"They will get what comes to them eventually. I think people like that don't stop."

The Clendenins plan to keep fighting the case and said they're going to appeal. Anthony and Samuel are ordered to report to the Merced County Jail to begin their sentences on September 26.
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