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12:32 PM Mon, Nov. 19th

Idaho teacher denies feeding puppy to snapping turtle

(Stock photo)

(Stock photo)

PRESTON, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho teacher accused of feeding a sick puppy to a snapping turtle in front of several students has pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty.

Preston Junior High School science teacher Robert Crosland made the plea Tuesday in Franklin County Magistrate Court.

He faces up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted at his trial scheduled to start Oct. 26. The school is in rural Preston, where the 2004 teen cult classic film “Napoleon Dynamite” was set.

Several parents came forward to say Crosland fed the puppy to the turtle on March 7. Several weeks later, state officials seized the turtle and euthanized it as a non-native species.

Crosland didn’t respond to a message left by The Associated Press at the school.