CHICAGO (CBS) — A central Illinois man pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges this week, for killing two dogs last year and dumping their bodies on a rural road.

The Bloomington Pantagraph reports 72-year-old Gary Eustice, of Normal, told a McLean County judge he was “clueless” his actions were criminal.

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Gary Eustice, 72, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. (Source: Bloomington Pantagraph)

Eustice pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, according to court records. He was sentenced to 24 months of conditional discharge – similar to probation, but with less supervision. Two counts of euthanizing companion animals and a charge of littering for dumping the dead animals on a rural road near Bloomington were dismissed in September.

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The Pantagraph reports Eustice apologized for killing the animals, which he said were left with his family. He was charged last December with killing two dogs by enclosing them in a garage with a running vehicle.

Eustice reportedly told a judge he wanted to save the cost of having the dogs euthanized by a veterinarian, and his actions were not taken with any malice or anger, or for sport.

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The Pantagraph reports, in addition to his 24 month sentence of conditional discharge, Eustice also must serve 200 hours of community service with an organization that helps animals.