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Owner of dogs that mauled terrier wants speedy trial; dogs still held

A felon who allegedly refused to stop his three dogs from mauling a terrier to death before threatening the dog's owner with his animals is out of jail. His dogs, however, remain in Jackson County's custody.

Charles Everett Nathan, 36, of the 2000 block of Poplar Drive, was released from Jackson County Jail Monday on his own recognizance, after Circuit Judge Tim Barnack granted a handwritten motion filed by Nathan, court documents show.

In the motion written from jail, Nathan sought a speedy trial, refused further trial delays, and demanded release for due process reasons, saying he'd been held for 60 days. Nathan's next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22. 

Although Nathan has been released, his dogs will remain at the animal shelter pending outcome of his trial, according to Jackson County Animal Services manager Barbara Talbert.

"They're still here," Talbert said.

Talbert said that whether Nathan's dogs are euthanized for their role in the mauling attack of the Jack Russell terrier likely will be up to the judge who tries the case.

“It’s likely that the judge will also determine the disposition of the dogs,” Talbert said.

The three female dogs were not pit bulls, but "mutts," Nathan said in handwritten correspondence to Barnack. Nathan named the dogs Nifty, Minnie and Bella, the document says.  Court documents say the terrier, killed the evening of June 8 while on a walk with its owner outside South Medford High School, was named Shelby.

Nathan said in the letter that he served seven times as an inmate volunteer at the shelter. Court records show Nathan has previous felony convictions for possessing methamphetamine and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, among other misdemeanor convictions. 

"This is not about me right now. I feel like 'the girls' have a right to a fast and speedy trial, too," Nathan wrote.

On July 25, Nathan submitted a rambling handwritten motion to dismiss his case, which was denied. In the document he alleges one of the terrier's owners is the son of a sheriff's deputy and that court-appointed defense attorney Paul Moser demonstrated a "lack of effort" preparing for Nathan's trial. Nathan's correspondence alleges "unlawful prejudice" against him, claiming that the woman walking the dog threatened to "kill him." Nathan also claims that Medford police's sharing the story on social media, which archives show led to Nathan's capture, denies him a fair trial.

"The television and social media, especially Facebook, further prevent a fair trial without prejudice," Nathan wrote.

Nathan faces two felony counts of first-degree aggravated animal abuse, felony first-degree animal abuse, felony charges of heroin and methamphetamine possession, and misdemeanor charges of first-degree animal abuse, second-degree animal abuse and menacing. 

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

Charles Nathan