A southwest Missouri man who was accused of letting his dogs run free before the fatal 2015 mauling of an elderly bicyclist has agreed to a plea deal that will keep him out of prison.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 38-year-old Joseph Brink, of rural Rogersville, was sentenced Thursday to two years of unsupervised probation after entering an Alford plea to third-degree assault. He initially was charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 85-year-old Werner Vogt.

Brink gave away two of their four boxers to unsuspecting owners before investigators matched DNA from one of the dogs to saliva found on Vogt’s clothing. The DNA analysis couldn’t rule out Brink’s other boxers.

Brink’s attorney says Brink doesn’t believe his dogs were behind the attack. Brink and his wife previously settled a civil lawsuit with Vogt’s family for $300,000.

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