Update August 23, 2013 2:00 p.m.: Judge sentences Darius Ewing to five years in jail. Read more: http://www.examiner.com/article/burned-puppy-justice-finally-gets-justic...
In April, 2012, an 18-year-old man was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. Darius Ewing poured lighter fluid on a four-month-old puppy, then flicked a lit cigarette at him. The police report stated that a group of people watched and laughed as Ewing threw his lit cigarette at the dog.
The Labrador puppy suffered from third degree burns on more than 70 percent of his body. His poor little body could not handle it, and ten days after being set on fire, the puppy died.
But that does not seem to be the case.
The man who lit Justice on fire, Darius Ewing, pleaded guilty to one count of felony animal cruelty. Ewing entered a plea on Tuesday, agreeing to a five-year sentence. The judge on the case, Larry Mitchell, reduced his sentence to two years. WFFA.com reports that the judge "lowered it to two years, saying prosecutors failed to prove that a 'deadly weapon' was used.”
Three others also pleaded guilty to one count each of felony animal cruelty. Darius Carey, 25, was sentenced to two years in jail. Richard Valentine, 25, and Adrian Ayers, 21, each received 15 months in jail.
In Texas, State Jail Felonies are punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 10 years.
Jonnie England of the Texas Humane Alliance says all who were present for sentencing in the courtroom were shocked. "There was just no justice for Justice here today," England said.
Prosecutors are considering an appeal for Ewing's case.
Animal advocate group Hand4Paws wrote a petition asking that Darius Ewing receive the maximum sentence. The petition received over 37,000 signatures. The petition was sent to the judge on the case, Larry Mitchell.
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