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Phelps man violates court order, shoots and kills victims dog

Deputies say that on Friday around 6:15 p.m. they were dispatched to a report of shots fired on Falkey Road in the town of Phelps.

Investigators determined that a domestic incident occurred involving 44-year-old James Merkle, of Phelps, and an individual who had an order of protection against him.

Following a verbal argument between the two, Merkle allegedly shot one of the victim’s dogs and ran into the woods on the property.

After being located on the back side of a standalone building on the property deputies took him into custody.

He was charged with a felony count of criminal contempt and arraigned.

The Ontario County Humane Society is assisting in the investigation and removed the deceased dog from the scene.