A Pittsburgh woman was found guilty Friday for stealing her cancer-stricken neighbor's dog and then having the dog euthanized. Gisele Paris faces sentencing on March 12.
Police and prosecutors alleged Spring Hill resident Gisele Paris stole the dog, Thor, a Siberian husky, from her neighbor's back yard on Thanksgiving Day of 2013. The neighbor and owner of Thor, Mark Boehler, was being treated for stage 3 esophageal cancer at the time of the theft. After Thor disappeared from his fenced-in back yard, Boehler begged for his dog's safe return because he thought Thor was merely missing. He later found out that Gisele Paris had a licensed veterinarian come to her home in February of this year to euthanize Thor.
Gisele Paris was found guilty by an Allegheny County jury of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, and cruelty to animals, reports WPXI. She faces a sentence ranging from probation to up to 10 years in jail, and will appear again in court in March for sentencing.
Paris' defense attorney, Robert Mielnicki, maintains Paris did not steal the dog, but found him when she was out for a walk, and took Thor in to care for him because the dog was sick and neglected. However, a veterinarian who testified in the case said Thor was healthy and had no life-threatening issues at the time Gisele Paris had the dog euthanized. Prosecutors say Paris had the dog put down after the police had come to her home searching for him, not because the dog was sick.
"Gisele Paris was on a criminally delusional mission to take Thor from a situation, from conditions that she didn't approve of. Then it becomes more than she can deal with. The police close in on her, and she kills the dog to destroy the evidence."
Thor's owner is satisfied with Paris' conviction, and hopes she serves some jail time for her horrific behavior.
"I was thrilled to death she got convicted. If somebody did that to her dog, she would be crying like a baby. She knew what she did. She took that dog. I hope she does time for it so she can sit in jail and think about what she did."
According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, while the prosecutor asked that Paris be jailed while awaiting sentencing, the judge chose house arrest since Paris herself has a dog and cat that need care.
Gisele Paris will be back in court next month as she faces charges for resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer relating to her arrest in this case.