Men plead guilty to setting dog “Justice” on fire - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Men plead guilty to setting dog “Justice” on fire

Posted: Updated:

DALLAS (KRLD) - There will not be a trial over the puppy that was burned alive in Pleasant Grove – and eventually died from its injuries.  Although all four men have pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, animal rights activists are not happy.

Jury selection was set to start Tuesday morning in the animal abuse trial of the men who set the puppy named "Justice" on fire last year. But before it began, remaining defendants, Richard Valentine and Darius Ewing pleaded guilty. Darius Carey pleaded guilty Friday and Adrian Ayers pleaded guilty in June.

Prosecutors wanted Ewing, who they considered the ringleader, to face punishment for use of a deadly weapon.  They claim he used a combustible liquid, lighter fluid, to set the dog on fire.  But Judge Larry Mitchell said prosecutors did not provide enough evidence to prove that charge – dropping the punishment from a possible 10-year prison term to potential probation and time served.  According to court documents, Ewing agreed to a five-year prison sentence. A judge will make the final decision at a sentencing date in the future. Valentine and Carey were sentenced to 15 months.  Ayers was sentenced to two years.

Animal rights activist Jonnie England, who attended the hearing, said she was stunned by the judge's decision. "He ruled as he wanted to rule," she said.  "The punishment range for state jail felony with use of a deadly weapon, which would have been two to ten years and now the maximum is two years."

Justice suffered third-degree burns on 70 percent of his body.  According to the police report, the defendants doused Justice in lighter fluid and set him on fire. The dog began darting around the complex until a witness caught him and smothered the flames with a shirt.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Report: Air Algerie plane vanishes from radar

    Report: Air Algerie plane vanishes from radar

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:28 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:28:48 GMT
    An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from radar, the official Algerian news agency said Thursday.  Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 1:50 a.m. GMT (10:50p EDT), the agency said.

    More >>
    An Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from radar, the official Algerian news agency said Thursday.  Air navigation services lost track of the plane 50 minutes after takeoff early Thursday, last sited at 1:50 a.m. GMT (10:50p EDT), the agency said.


    More >>
  • Update: Autopsy reveals stab wound led to death of 4-year-old girl

    Update: Autopsy reveals stab wound led to death of 4-year-old girl

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:50 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:50:12 GMT
    Victoria Wyatt (photo: family)Victoria Wyatt (photo: family)
    UPDATE: ATHENS, TX (KYTX) - An autopsy report reveals a stab wound to the chest contributed to the death of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt.More >>
    UPDATE: ATHENS, TX (KYTX) - An autopsy report reveals a stab wound to the chest contributed to the death of 4-year-old Victoria Wyatt.More >>
  • Why Smith County won't be making rulings on immigration issue

    Why Smith County won't be making rulings on immigration issue

    We're learning more about what led Smith County commissioners to vote on some immigration resolutions and the reason for the outcomes. The commissioners court discussion Tuesday came down to what a county government's role is. More >>
    We're learning more about what led Smith County commissioners to vote on some immigration resolutions and the reason for the outcomes. The commissioners court discussion Tuesday came down to what a county government's role is. More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.