A Minot man accused of animal cruelty has been found not guilty.

A jury acquitted 29–year–old James Music of a felony animal cruelty charge.

State prosecutors had accused Music of taping a dog's mouth shut, beating, and fatally shooting the animal last October.

It was one of the first felony cases of animal cruelty since state lawmakers upgraded it from a misdemeanor in 2013.

A Bismarck man accused of shooting two cats with arrows late last year was also set to go on trial this week, but a plea deal has been reached.