Raymone Clements Sentenced to Nearly 23 Years in Jail

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UPDATE: Raymone Clements was sentenced to 275 months - nearly 23 years - behind bars. U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent announced the sentence today.

Clements was charged with being a felon in possession of a gun and ammunition after federal investigators homed in on animal cruelty charges filed against him late last year. Clements was initially arrested after he shot his dog in a Cleveland Heights park and left him for dead.

His previous felony convictions include the rape of two girls (ages 7 and 14) in 2006, drug trafficking in 2003 and aggravated robbery in 1991.

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Originally published April 4:

Raymone Clements was convicted of being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Sentencing is slated for June 13, and Clements could face 19 to 24 years behind bars.

This week's trial in federal court wraps up one of many tangents that began when Clements brought his bull mastiff Forrest into a Cleveland Heights park, tied him to a tree and shot him four times.

Filling out the courtroom were numerous animal protection advocates, who have rallied around Forrest and promoted his story as an illustration of Ohio's lukewarm animal cruelty laws. Clements was not charged with any counts of animal cruelty, save for a county charge that was later dropped. Nonetheless, shooting a companion animal amounts to little more than a misdemeanor and a proverbial slap on the wrist in this state.

The trial, for the federal justice system's part, did highlight the ongoing issue of trying to crack down on career criminals continuing to arm themselves.

“This case demonstrates why rapists and other felons are forbidden from having firearms,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach says. “Whether is a person using a gun to commit a violent crime, a felon illegally obtaining ammunition or a straw purchaser trying to circumvent the law, we will aggressively pursue those who would violate our nation’s firearms laws."

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