Richard J. McGuire, 44, of Mobile, Alabama, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022, in US District Court in Gulfport, Mississippi, to being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of animal crushing. He used a sawed-off shotgun to blast "Buddy," a working dog for the Moss Point Police Department. Coffee or Die Magazine composite.
An Alabama man who blasted away at a police dog’s chest with a sawed-off shotgun faces up to 17 years behind bars.
In a deal inked with federal prosecutors in Mississippi on Tuesday, Aug. 2, Richard Jay McGuire Jr. pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and animal crushing.
McGuire, 44, is slated to be sentenced Nov. 15 in Gulfport before Senior US District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. and could receive up to 10 years in a federal penitentiary on the gun charge and seven years behind bars for the cruelty count.
In exchange, authorities will toss a separate gun charge and a lone count of unlawfully wearing body armor. In 2008, McGuire was convicted of assault in Mobile County Court and spent six years in an Alabama penitentiary, which barred him from owning firearms, ammo, and ballistic armor.
"Buddy" is a beloved member of Mississippi's Point Police Department. Moss Point Police Department photos.
McGuire’s latest legal woes began shortly after midnight on March 29, 2022, when Mississippi’s Moss Point Police officers responded to an alarm call at Tay’s Barbeque, which is co-located with a Shell gas station.
The cops found a back door busted open. After watching the video surveillance footage, they began hunting a white man who wore black clothes, a ski mask, and gloves, carrying a bucket stuffed with merchandise, and likely walking north toward a line of trees near US 10.
The officers spotted him and released their working dog, Buddy. The K9 bounded into a forest on the man’s heels.
Then came the clap of gunfire.
"Buddy," a K9 working dog, is a beloved member of Mississippi's Moss Point Police Department. Moss Point Police Department photos.
Buddy staggered out of the woods to his handler and then collapsed on the ground. The dog underwent emergency surgery at a clinic in Mobile and survived.
A police dragnet tried to close the noose on McGuire in the forest, but he evaded them. Near a line of trees behind a Boot Outlet, however, officers turned up a Kevlar vest, the stolen merchandise, gloves, and the loaded sawed-off 12-gauge Stoeger/IGA Coach Gun that put a slug into Buddy.
Stenciled on the shotgun were the initials RIP.
Shortly after dawn, officers stumbled upon a man sitting in a vehicle at a nearby Chevron gas station. He told them his name was “RIP.”
"Buddy," a working dog for Mississippi's Moss Point Police Department, will receive body armor. On July 6, 2022, officials announced that the K9 will start wearing a vest that protects him from bullets and stab wounds. It was donated by the nonprofit Vested Interest in K9s. Moss Point Police Department photo.
The cops recognized him as the man in the surveillance footage. Then McGuire gave them his real name and they brought him in for questioning.
At the station, McGuire confessed to shooting the dog with the contraband gun.
He remains incarcerated in Mississippi’s Lenoir Rowell Criminal Justice Center pending transfer to a federal facility.
McGuire's criminal defense attorney did not return messages from Coffee or Die Magazine seeking comment.
Carl Prine is a former senior editor at Coffee or Die Magazine. He has worked at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
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