Mass. driver convicted of running over mother duck

AP News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2009 9:03 PM

A driver who ran over and killed a mother duck walking her 12 ducklings across a Massachusetts mall parking lot has been sentenced to a year of probation.

Witnesses say Joshua Linhares deliberately drove at the ducks in the Dartmouth Mall parking lot in June, turning sharply and speeding up. Surveillance video from nearby stores supported their account.

The 25-year-old Acushnet (uh-KOOSH'-neht) resident testified he didn't see the ducks because he was distracted by a woman waving her arms at him. He says he left the scene because he panicked.

New Bedford District Court jurors took 15 minutes Tuesday to convict him of animal cruelty.

Prosecutors requested jail time. But the judge imposed the lesser sentence because Linhares didn't have a prior criminal record.

The ducklings were adopted by a family and then were released into the wild.

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Information from: The Standard-Times, http://www.southcoasttoday.com