Jury finds Minot man 'not guilty' of felony animal cruelty

MINOT, N.D. - A jury has acquitted a Minot man of a felony animal cruelty charge.

State prosecutors had accused 29-year-old James Music of taping a dog's mouth shut, beating, and fatally shooting the animal last October.

The animal’s body was later found in a dumpster.

Music could have faced up to five years in prison if convicted.

It was one of the first instances where a suspect faced the new felony charge since state lawmakers upgraded it from a misdemeanor in 2013.