In Maryland, a shocking case of violence against animals has concluded, for now, with a whimper: A single juror prevented the jury in the Johnson brothers’ animal cruelty trial from reaching a unanimous verdict, resulting in a mistrial on February 7, 2011. The 11 other jurors reportedly were in favor of convicting the Johnsons.
Twins Travers and Tremayne Johnson, now 19, were accused of dousing a young Pit Bull in gasoline and setting her on fire in the streets of Baltimore in May 2009. Although the dog was saved by a policewoman and treated by rescue workers (who named her Phoenix), her injuries were so severe that she had to be humanely euthanized a few days after the incident.
Nearly two years after her death, Phoenix remains an enduring symbol and the face of animal cruelty victims nationwide—what’s more, the senseless attack served as a catalyst for change in Baltimore. With support from the ASPCA, the city created the Baltimore Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission in November 2010. The commission, whose members include Dr. Randall Lockwood, ASPCA Senior Vice President of Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects, has pledged to provide training on animal cruelty to law enforcement, prosecutors and judges throughout Maryland.
The Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office is expected to retry the case against Travers and Tremayne Johnson—please stay tuned to ASPCA.org for further developments on this story.
Courtesy of ASPCA