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Witness testifies in day 2 of “Phoenix” trial

A witness, bluntly acknowledging that she came forward only because an award was offered, said she saw Travers and Tremayne Johnson run “from the scene of the crime” seconds after a pit bull puppy was set on fire.

Tiera Goodman, who is jailed in an unrelated case, testified today in the twins’ trial in Baltimore on animal cruelty charges.

“I know what I saw, I just didn’t care until I seen the reward,” Goodman said, explaining why she waited six days before approaching police about the pit bull who was set on fire in the the summer of 2009.

Goodman stands to gain thousands of dollars in reward money that was collected after the dog, nicknamed “Phoenix,” after five days of suffering, was euthanized. About $28,000 in donations were taken in for the reward, which will be paid if there’s a conviction in the case, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Prosecutors today showed video from a city surveillance camera, showing the street scene minutes before the attack in late May.

As narrated in court  by Sgt. Jarron Jackson, the video showed a man call the dog, then walk her over to two other men standing on the corner. While the footage is fuzzy, Jackson identified the two males as the Johnson brothers, based partly on their mannerisms, he said.

Jackson said the video shows Travers kicking the dog before taking her to an alley and disappearing from the camera’s view. Seven minutes later, the brothers ran out of the alley, and seconds later the burning dog appeared.

Goodman told the courtroom she left the scene when police arrived, and came forward only “because there was a reward. It’s posted all over the projects.”


Comment from kathryn
Time February 1, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Your blog entries inspired me to visit Wikipedia’s take on animal rights, which offers some pretty fascinating history on the subject, as well as the news that the subject is actually being taught in nearly 200 colleges. Worth visiting, no stub here…

Comment from Anne’n'Spencer
Time February 2, 2011 at 12:58 am

After today, I have a bad feeling about this. I think Officer Teel was more focused on saving a life than on securing a crime scene. She’s to be commended for that. She’s obviously a decent, caring police officer. I think it sounds as though witnesses have been intimidated (or bribed). I also think it’s going to come down to how the jury interprets the tape from the camera. Let’s hope we see some justice for Phoenix. Let’s also hope we get two bad eggs removed from the streets, at least until the revolving door lets them out again.

Comment from Starla
Time February 2, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Thank You for keeping us up to date on this trial. I hope that justice will be served for Phoenix. It has to start somewhere & until there are stiffer penalties, these horrors will continue on poor trusting animals by the sickos who set out to hurt those who can’t fight back. I hope Pheonix’s horrific death will lead to much stronger laws & penalties for animal rights.

Comment from linda
Time February 8, 2011 at 1:07 am

I’m praying that Phoenix’s death will not be in vain. That poor innocent animal who wanted nothing out of life but unconditional love and to have suffered at the hands of humans, for what? The state of Maryland needs to have stronger penalties and stricter laws concerning animal rights. The true crime here is the two brothers are facing what? THREE YEARS, BULLSHIT, IT’S NOT ENOUGH…

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