An 8-year-old boy told a jury Tuesday that he saw a neighbor man strike a small dog with a baseball bat.
James Jarvais, 27, went on trial this week for felony animal cruelty in Sedgwick County District Court.
There have been a handful of such cases since Kansas allowed for felony charges for animal abuse in 2006.
Preston Wagner testified Tuesday that he, a cousin and a neighbor were playing with a chihuahua mix named Popeye in his southeast Wichita neighborhood the afternoon of Oct. 6, 2009.
Never miss a local story.
A man Preston called James came out because his own dog was barking at Popeye.
"James went inside and got a bat," Preston testified.
"Was it a baseball bat?" prosecutor Justen Phelps asked.
"Yes," Preston said.
"He hit the dog with it in the eye," Preston said. "It was like a golf swing."
Preston couldn't recognize Jarvais in the courtroom Tuesday. But Preston's aunt could.
Erin Hollis said she was visiting her sister, Preston's mother, when she heard a commotion outside. Hollis said she saw Jarvais hit the dog with the bat, then kick it and send it flying.
Steve Weller, Jarvais' lawyer, cross-examined Hollis about her claim that the blow propelled Popeye across the front yard and to the other side of the street.
Popeye weighed 13 pounds, according to a veterinarian who treated him.
Hollis said she took the dog to Jarvais to show him how injured it was. Hollis then testified she drove the dog from the 2200 block of South Glendale, near Oliver and Mount Vernon, to an emergency animal clinic at 727 S. Washington.
Veterinarian Jan Hinshaw said Popeye had lost his left eye to blunt-force trauma. The owner of the dog didn't have enough money to treat the pet and opted to have it euthanized, the vet said.
The trial continues today before Judge Warren Wilbert.