MARTINEZ -- A Brentwood man faces a misdemeanor charge for allegedly lying to investigators after his father killed a neighbor's two dogs in September.
The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office on Tuesday announced that it's charging Jonathan Christ, 32, with one count of obstructing an officer for "material lies and omissions" made to authorities after his 58-year-old father, Randy Christ, on Sept. 28 fatally shot two dogs that had killed his chickens.
Jonathan Christ told authorities he was trying to protect his father from possible arrest for discharging a firearm, according to prosecutors, even though shooting the marauding dogs was legal.
"Mr. Jonathan Christ's lies and fabrications obstructed an official law enforcement investigation for several days and created significant and completely unnecessary emotional harm to the owners of the dogs and the community at large," a news release from the DA's office Tuesday reads.
The dogs, a German shepherd and a Rottweiler named Luke and Jager, had escaped from the backyard of their owner, Ellen Barkely, early Sept. 28 and ended up in the chicken coop on Jonathan Christ's property at 550 Creek Road.
Some 20 chickens had already been killed when Randy Christ shot the dogs, according to the DA's office.
Killing dogs is legal under a California Food and Agricultural Code when they are found in the act of killing, wounding or pursuing poultry, and so no criminal charges are being filed against Randy Christ, prosecutors said.
But when Contra Costa Animal Control Services and Brentwood police first inquired into the dogs' deaths, Jonathan Christ told them that he found the dogs in the coop, killed them by beating them to death with a shovel and then burned the chicken and dog carcasses and buried them in a remote area of Contra Costa County.
In reality, prosecutors said, Jonathan Christ had no part in the killings before he bagged the carcasses and dumped them into a ravine near his workplace, G3 Enterprises in Byron.
No one from the Christ family reported the dogs' deaths to authorities before police became involved Sept. 29, when Ellen Barkely's daughter, Kathleen Barkely, confronted the Christ family in an incident that led to someone calling police for "disturbing the peace."
Three days later, Jonathan Christ brought an investigator to a pile of ashes he planted on the G3 property, claiming it was the site of the burned carcasses.
Then, on Oct. 3, a G3 employee reported finding the bodies of the dogs and the chickens in the ravine. Prosecutors say Jonathan Christ confessed to lying later that day.
An arraignment date for Jonathan Christ had not been set as of Tuesday.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.