Victims don't often testify for their abusers, but such was the case in a Multnomah County courtroom earlier this week. Prosecutors had accused Wayne Martin and Layne Woods of neglecting their three Great Danes, blue pit bull and now-deceased Shar Pei.
In a bit of creative lawyering, defense attorney Chris O'Connor subpoenaed the dogs to prove that they are in great shape.
It didn't work.
That's probably because the canines were seized by local authorities in May. Caregivers spent the last seven months eradicating the fleas and tending to the dogs' medical needs, reports the Oregonian. But when they found the dogs, two had dangerously deep, pus-filled wounds.
The Shar Pei's infection was so serious she had to be euthanized.
O'Connor seems to have forgotten that time heals all wounds. And compromises some types of physical evidence.
Nonetheless, he subpoenaed the dogs and they dutifully appeared. As is traditional, Merlin, Patches, Raven and Coco waited outside the courtroom before being called to the stand. Once the jury heard what they had to say, they were escorted out:
Though the dogs mostly remained silent, the Oregonian reports that the jury was not fooled by their remarkably good looks. Jurors convicted both Wayne Martin and Layne Woods of first-degree animal neglect. They will be temporarily banned from owning a pet.
So it seems that even a subpoenaed dog isn't powerful enough to get a defendant off the hook. Dogs may be cute and cuddly, but jurors are more discerning than you think.
- Dogs Get Day in Court After Receiving Subpoenas (Associated Press)
- Courthouse Dogs Are Cute, But You Can't Cross Examine Them (FindLaw's Strategist)
- 'I Like Large Breasts,' But Not During Trial, Attorney Motions Court (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)