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Accused Decorah dog killer to get psychiatric exam

Judge wants to know if man is fit to stand trial.

Posted: Oct 15, 2019 6:37 PM

DECORAH, Iowa – A man accused of killing two dogs with an ax will undergo a mental evaluation.

Douglas Earl Usgaard, 21 of Decorah, is charged with two counts of animal torture. Authorities say he used an ax on September 14 to kill Maz, a 13-year-old Shih Tzu/Bichon, and Trina, a 14-year-old Labradoodle. Court documents state both dogs belonged to a member of Usgaard’s family.

On Tuesday, a Winneshiek County judge ordered a psychiatric competency examination of Usgaard to determine if he is fit to stand trial. The exam will be performed at the Iowa Medical and Classification Psychiatric Hospital.

A date for the exam has not been set. Results of the evaluation are to be submitted to the judge within 10 days of its completion.

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