, Salem, MA

Local News

June 13, 2013

Pit bull, drug charges outlined in court


“There was more than just the fact that he was drinking,” prosecutor Karen Hopwood argued Wednesday. “He failed pretrial probation on this matter.”

If convicted on an animal cruelty charge, Dugan could face a state prison sentence of no more than five years, or in a house of correction for not more than 2.5 years. He could also face a fine of up to $2,500 on each count, or a combination of fine and jail time.

The charge of possession with intent to distribute carries a potential sentence of 10 years or fewer in jail or 2 1/2 years in a house of correction. That term can be combined with a fine between $1,000 and $10,000. The defendant can also receive only the jail sentence or only the fine.

Meanwhile, eight women, some of whom had protested outside of Gloucester District Court pushing for a strong sentence for Dugan, followed the case to Salem Wednesday. The protesters had long awaited the necropsy results that surfaced Wednesday, assuming the finding cwould be key to the case.

Gloucester resident Mary Lou Maraganis, a co-founder of the newly-opened Gloucester Dog Park and an animal rights activist, said the results of Wednesday’s arraignment were the best she could hope for. Shed said she was struck by the necropsy results revealing Xena was dead when allegedly sliced open and gutted.

“In some ways I’m grateful for that, but by the same token, that you could do that to your own being, living or dead, is kind of indicative of his mentality,” Maraganis said after the arraignment.

Lisa Casavant, an animal rights activist who has followed the case closely, traveled from Andover to sit in on the arraignment and wave signs outside the court that morning.

“It was satisfying just to see him sitting in the cage,” Casavant said.

Kerin Hawley, another Gloucester resident who attended the arraignment and protested beforehand, vowed to stay on the heels of the action.

“I’m just sickened by this whole thing, sickened by it. We have to be the Xena’s voice,” she said. “We’ll be back.”

Dugan will return to superior court for a pretrial hearing on July 10.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at

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