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Trial set for Idaho teacher accused of feeding of puppy turtle

Junior high teacher Robert Crosland faces responsible for allegedly feeding a dog to a snapping turtle in front of the students.

(Preston School District)

A southeast Idaho teacher accused of feeding a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of a number of students will be tried in his own community the following month.

The Idaho State Journal reports that prosecutors have sought in vain to go further in the process of science teacher Robert Crosland outside of Franklin County.

Prosecutors with the Idaho Attorney General’s Office argued they were not able to seat an impartial jury, because the Preston Junior High School teacher enjoyed such broad support in that community.

District Judge David C. Upper last week did not agree, with the provision that the teacher Oct. 26 process would remain in Preston.

Crosland has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty. He faces up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted.

The dog also had an illness at the time of his death, which originally was reported to the police by a local animal activist after a teacher told her about the alleged incident, according to FOX13.

“What I’ve learned in the past four days is disgusting. It is sick. It is sick,” said Jill Parrish of the activist.

Crosland reportedly fed the puppy to the turtle in front of three boys after school on 7 March. The mother of two of them told a local newspaper that at the time of the story was blown out of proportion, EastIdahoNews.com reported.

“If someone has the right to be upset, it is me,” Farahlyn Hansen said, according to the news outlet. “I’m not angry. I felt like it was the more humane thing for Robert to do anything, only let it (the puppy) to die. … The puppy was dying.”

“While the district certainly do not condone the individual actions that violate district policy or the reasonable expectations of behavior, we hope that any errors in judgment made by a teacher in this case does not lead to the forgetting of the years of the care, the efforts and the passion of the teacher has given to students in the Preston School District,” the district said in a letter sent home to the parents at the moment.

The school is in a rural Preston, 2004 teen cult film “Napoleon Dynamite” was set.

Shane Reichert, Crosland’s attorney, told The Idaho State Journal that his client is back in the classroom the pupils. He claims that his client’s innocence will be proven at trial.

Fox News’ Robert Gearty and The Associated Press contributed to this report

Edmund Initiative is a news editor for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @EDeMarche.

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