Man admits guilt for shooting neighbor’s dog

Expects to get sentence of 41 months in prison 

Posted 12/9/22

A Port Ludlow man who was facing 13 felony firearm charges after shooting a neighbor’s dog changed his pleading to guilty on three of the charges Friday in Jefferson County Superior …

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Man admits guilt for shooting neighbor’s dog

Expects to get sentence of 41 months in prison 

Posted

A Port Ludlow man who was facing 13 felony firearm charges after shooting a neighbor’s dog changed his pleading to guilty on three of the charges Friday in Jefferson County Superior Court.

Ronald Scott Roth was arrested at his Thorndyke Road home in May after he killed his neighbor’s dog with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Roth, 61, was first facing charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, first-degree animal cruelty, and making false statements to law enforcement.

In a plea agreement set out in court Friday, Roth admitted guilt to unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a stolen firearm, and first-degree animal cruelty.

“Mr. Roth is willing to take responsibility for his actions,” Deputy Prosecutor Anna Phillips said.

A prison term of 41 months was recommended in the plea deal, which Phillips noted was a “steep sentence” but she added it was commensurate with Roth’s actions that led to his arrest.

Under the agreement, the sentences on each of the charges will not run concurrently, but one after another.

Sheriff deputies were dispatched to Thorndyke Road just before 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 22, after a resident claimed Roth, her neighbor, had shot her dog. 

After the dog was shot, the woman said Roth got into his truck and drove away.

Deputies found him at home the next day.

Roth’s wife, Diann Guay Johnston, told deputies Roth had not shot the dog and didn’t own any firearms.

Deputies soon learned Roth was a convicted felon with his most recent conviction coming from unlawful possession of a firearm. Armed with a search warrant, deputies found a dozen firearms in Roth’s home; 10 of them hidden in a fold-out couch, and the other two in a bedroom. Ten of the 12 guns were loaded, and the fireamrs included a stolen .338-caliber Savage rifle, 12-gauge Champion shotgun with a pistol grip, an AR-15 Colt semi-automatic assault rifle, a Russian Mosin-Nagant 7.62x54R military rifle fitted with a bayonet, a .50-caliber Thompson muzzleloader, a .22-caliber Western Auto rifle, a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic rifle, a J.C. Higgins 12-gauge shotgun without a serial number, a .22-caliber Cricket rifle, a Bryco .38-caliber handgun, a 12-gauge New England pump shotgun, and a .177-caliber air rifle.

Deputies found several full ammunition crates in the trunk of his wife’s car.

Johnston was charged in May with unlawful possession of a firearm.

Authorities said Johnston has also agreed to a plea agreement, and the prosecutor’s office noted during Friday’s hearing that resolution for the charges against both Johnston and Roth culminated in a “package deal.”

A change of plea hearing in Johnston’s case has been set for Jan. 6.

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