The two men who were accused of shooting and killing a dog belonging to their former boss are now contesting the charges against them.

Justin Chipman and Nathan Burke were arrested on multiple charges after they allegedly broke into Phil Torrey's home in 2018 and stole his hummer, taking his pug dog Franky along for the ride. At some point, Franky was shot and killed. His body was found, wrapped in plastic, on a Winter Harbor beach six days later. Chipman and Burke had once worked as sternmen on Torrey's lobster boat.

In January, Chipman was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals, one count of burglary, two counts of theft, and one count of criminal mischief. He was sentenced to three years in prison, with all but one year suspended and has, since, appealed his conviction.

Nathan Burke failed to appear at his initial hearing and eluded police until being arrested in January during a domestic violence investigation in Winter Harbor. He has been arrested several times on bail violations and is still awaiting his trial. The BDN reports that, according to his attorney, Burke was released on bail in June because he had passed a polygraph test in which he was asked if he killed the dog. Both men allegedly told police, at some point in the investigation, that the dog had run off, indicating that Franky was alive the last time they saw him.

Officials say the outcome of Chipman's appeal will likely affect how the Hancock County District Attorney's office proceeds with Burke's case. Hancock County District Attorney Matthew Foster has recused himself from the case because his wife was the one who found Franky's body on the beach.

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