Phoenix case ends in mistrial
The trial of Travers and Tremayne Johnson ended in a mistrial tonight.
Jurors were unable to come to an agreement about the brothers’ guilt or innocence on any of the four animal cruelty charges against the twins accused in the 2009 fatal burning of a dog nicknamed Phoenix.
The brothers, the Baltimore Sun reported, smiled as the result was read about 6:30 p.m., after a third day of jury deliberation.
Phoenix’s death outraged animal activists nationwide, who collectively donated thousands to find the dog’s attackers, and led to the creation of an Anti-Animal Abuse Task Force. The commission’s report found the city’s response to animal abuse was lacking — a finding the trial of the brothers seemed to reinforce.
Defense attorneys repeatedly pointed out the flaws in the investigation that followed the May 27, 2009 incident.
The dog had been doused with accelerant and lit on fire, burning until a police officer ran from her car and smothered the flames with her sweater.
But according to testimony, the crime scene was never secured, photographed or otherwise documented and it wasn’t assigned to police investigators for a week.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, animals, baltimore, burned, burning, cruelty, dog, dogs, fire, johnson brothers, jurors, jury, mistrial, pets, phoenix, pit bull, pitbull, torture, travers johnson, treymane johnson, trial, twins, verdict