Taxpayers to pay part of costs of appeal for woman convicted of stealing cancer victim's dog

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PITTSBURGH — A judge has decided that taxpayers will pick up part of the tab for the appeal of a woman convicted of stealing a cancer-stricken neighbor's dog and having it euthanized.

Fifty-eight-year-old Gisele Paris was sentenced to three to six months in jail on convictions of theft, receiving stolen property and cruelty to animals.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://bit.ly/1EyfFg0 ) reports that defense attorney Robert Mielnicki said his client cannot afford an appeal, so he'll represent her for free but asked that the state pay fees and transcript costs.

Allegheny County Judge Anthony Mariani agreed Tuesday but said Paris would stay in jail.

Paris said she stole the animal from a neighbor's yard on Thanksgiving 2013 because she believed it was being neglected.

Mariani called his client misguided but not malicious.


Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com

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