The trial of Raymone “Ramone” Clements -- the man accused of shooting Forrest the dog and leaving him for dead in Clevelad Heights -- is slated to begin April 1 in U.S. District Court.
Clements appeared in federal court Monday and pleaded not guilty to charges of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon, according to The Plain Dealer.
Clements, 42, of Cleveland, is not allowed to own guns or ammunitions because he has previous convictions in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for rape in 2006, drug trafficking in 2003 and aggravated robbery in 1991, according to his indictment.
He faces between 19 and 24 years in prison if he is convicted.
Though Clements was originally charged in local courts for animal cruelty and weapons charges, those charges were dropped earlier this month in lieu of his federal prosecution.
Clements is accused of chaining Forrest, a bull mastiff, to a tree on Nov. 25 in Forest Hill Park, firing at him four times and hitting him twice.
Forrest was later found by a professional dog walker and rescued by PAWS. Then he was adopted into a Solon home.
Now Forrest has become a mascot for efforts in Ohio by PAWS and other animal rights activists to make animal cruelty a felony in Ohio.
His new owner, Robin Stone, posted on Forrest's Facebook page that there will be a rally the morning of Clements' trial.