Christopher Tann is charged with felony animal cruelty for kicking and stomping Blitz, his girlfriend's Lhasa Apso. The alleged attack last November broke 11 of the dog's ribs.
Johnson County District Judge Sara Welch ruled Tuesday that the state's 3-year-old felony law is worded too closely to the state misdemeanor law.
That means that even if Tann is convicted, he would face the misdemeanor penalty instead of that for a felony.
The misdemeanor sentence is up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The felony sentence is up to a year with a requirement to serve at least 30 days, a $5,000 fine and required anger counseling.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)