Thursday, May 10, 2012
Hearing for Darius Ewing, who abused Justice the puppy, delayed
The judge had to withdraw from the case. Why he didn't do that before the date was scheduled, we don't know.
Several dozen people were surprised Thursday morning when Judge Rick Magnis delayed a hearing for 18-year-old Darius Ewing, the man accused of setting the puppy Justice on fire in April. The hearing was scheduled in the 283rd Judicial District Court to discuss possible reduction of Ewing's bond from $100,000 to $25,000.
Magnis told the packed courtroom that he came into "personal knowledge" and received information about Ewing's case before Ewing was accused. Magnis recused himself from the case, which means that it will be assigned to another judge and rescheduled, possibly for next week. Magnis told the Dallas Morning News that he knew one of the vets who cared for Justice.
The crowd in attendance -- which included Ewing's mom but was a majority of animal rescuers supporting Justice -- walked out seeming surprised. Ewing's mother left the building before we were able to speak with her.
"I'm glad he's sitting in jail for another week," said Janelle Darsey, a Dallas resident who said she'd return when the hearing was rescheduled.
Paige Yonker, a civil litigation paralegal and animal rescuer, suggested that the judge's delay would mean that the defense would have more time to craft a strategy. It also means to her that justice isn't served yet. "I appreciate that the judge recused himself, because you've got to have an impartial judge, but he shouldn't have taken the case in the first place," Yonker said.
Ewing turned himself in about a week after the puppy died from his injuries, which covered 70% of his body.
Some of the animal lovers in attendance said they were worried that Ewing's bond will be reduced like it was in 2007 for DeShann Brown, who was found guilty of burning a dog, later named Mercy. According to Jonnie England, director of Animal Advocacy and Communications for the Metroplex Animal Coalition, Brown's bond was lowered from $50,000 to $2,500 during a hearing, and he was able to pay $250 and get out of jail. England said Thursday she hopes a similar series of events doesn't happen for Ewing.
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