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Marc Dionne, right, appears in Essex County Superior Court in Newark on Friday, Sept. 29, accompanied by public defender Ann Sorrel.
PHOTO BY ERIN ROLL/STAFF

By ERIN ROLL
roll@montclairlocal.news

The case of a Montclair man accused of animal cruelty in a July road-range incident will be referred to a grand jury, an Essex County Superior Court judge said Friday.

Marc Dionne made his third court appearance in Essex County Superior Court Friday morning, when Judge John Gizzo announced that his case would be put to a grand jury. The date was not set at that hearing in Newark, since Gizzo said that the court had to check on the jury’s availability, but he said that there was a likelihood of a next court appearance in November.

In the judicial process, a grand jury is responsible for deciding whether criminal charges should be brought against an individual.

Dionne had pled not guilty to the animal cruelty charge in August. Friday he informed the court that he was in the process of moving, and Gizzo told him to keep the court advised of any address changes.

A video taken of the incident shows Dionne getting into an altercation with Saddle Brook resident Gary Keay at the intersection of Bloomfield and Gates avenues, though it is not clear which driver started the altercation. A police report from the Montclair Police Department indicated that Dionne and Keay gave differing accounts of which driver had started the altercation.

The video shows Dionne reaching into Keay’s minivan, taking out the Keays’ dog, Daphne, and throwing her onto the sidewalk before driving away.

The incident made regional headlines after the video was posted on the internet.

Assistant Prosecutor Michelle Miller said that there had been a discovery process, in which the prosecution obtained an official tape of the incident from the NJSPCA.

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