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Baltimore prosecutors to retry teens in dog-burning case

Baltimore prosecutors will retry twin brothers accused in the fatal burning of a pit bill in 2009.

Days after a mistrial was declared in the case, State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein announced Friday that the new trial is scheduled for May 4.

Tremayne and Travers Johnson, who were 17 at the time of the incident, will be tried for animal cruelty and mutilation of an animal. Police say a pit bull, nicknamed Phoenix, was set on fire in May 2009. A police officer used her sweater to put out the flames, but the dog was later euthanized at an animal shelter in Pennsylvania.

A judge declared a mistrial on Monday after jurors deliberated two and a half days but failed to reach a unanimous decision.

10 comments

  1. Are you serious!!!! I hope you people aren’t doing this just because those kids are “Black”.. I didn’t know dogs had that much power!! These are the same dogs that maul people, especially kids.. I could see if a dog could pay the rent, but there is no way in heII that a person should go to jail for a dog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. It isn’t a race thing… Its just inhumane and a little scary that people could do this to any other creature.. I can’t believe you don’t see that there is something wrong with this.

  3. Are you serious? Why is it whenever something happens race becomes a factor. These 2 kids are accused of horrendous acts. It’s a crime to do what they did…dogs, cats, birds, people. Ted Bundy started out torturing and killing animals. Look where that led him. And he’s white.

    Are you saying because they’re black they shouldn’t be retried after a mistrial but if they were white they should?

    I am so tired of hearing color brought up whenever there is an issue. If the kids are guilty, who gives a crap about the color…it’s the person(s) who did this not the color of their skin who did it.

    If they’re guilty…they’re guilty – and their skin color didn’t burn those dogs…those boys did. Period.

  4. WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS PULL THE “RACE” CARD ~ PEOPLE ARE SO SICK OF HEARING THAT — GET OUT OF THE PAST — IT WOULDN’T MATTER IF THEY WERE PINK — SETTING AN INNOCENT ANIMAL ON FIRE AND WATCHING THEM BURN – JESUS — THAT TAKES ONE SICK MIND — YOU MUST BE AN IDIOT FOR NOT THINKING SO TOO —

    THAT’S HOW DAHLMER GOT STARTED — REMEMBER THAT !!! MAYBE IT WILL BE YOU THEY COME AFTER NEXT — I HOPE THEY GO TO HELL

  5. This is crazy! I agree with D. Bos, I am african-american and you are right their color did not do it, but they did it. Thank you Gregg Bernstein, you are on the ball, I was praying that the city would not drop this case. Those boys looked arrogant and guilty.

  6. This has never been about race. It’s about being a menace to a society where torture and murder should be penalized to the fullest extent of the law. They should be held accountable now before they move on to humans. Animals have rights too and until that precedent is set, this sort of madness will continue. Great news they will be retried. Let’s hope the entire jury does the RIGHT thing this time.

  7. The problem is not race nor is it the fact that the victim of these crimes was not a human. The problem lies in the logic of individuals such as Bos. What is disturbing about this case in particular is that a dog, just like human, does not ignite like a field of dry grass if a match simply grazes our skin. The two individuals who committed this crime had to go through some type of planning, acquisition of a flammable liquid and execute a series of steps to bring this act full circle.

    The main question here is what exactly do these two individuals offer our society, other than charred dog? Will our society prosper with these two kids running around setting dogs on fire? Would our society be better with or without them?

    I am pleased to hear that the state is not giving up on this case and is determined to show society that this type of behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

  8. It has nothing to do about RACE. What it does have to do is taking a helpless animal who doesn’t know any better and who trusts people unconditionally getting burned by someone who is suppose to protect him.
    About “mauling animals” – those are the animals that are bred and trained to do these things. The only animals that have that instinct are those in the wild!!
    Now if you want to talk about those that’s a different story, but to say that burning or anything that harms an animal that doesn’t know any better is not a crime is just plain ignorance on the part of the person who says those shouldn’t take responsibility and the punishment!

  9. What is wrong with this picture? These boys, regardless of color, killed a living, breathing creature. What kind of people are they going to end up being? The next step will be torturing a child, or raping a woman, maybe your Mother, or sister, or your daughter. This type of behavior has been proven to only be the beginning of future violent behavior.

    I don’t know what the answer is, but they must be punished for this crime. They were 17 at the time they committed this crime. At 18 you are considered an adult. This story makes me sick, and the comment about the color of their skin is even worse. Stop making color the issue. Black, white, yellow, orange, we cannot let this behavior go unpunished.

  10. First, i called myself D. Bos too to let the other D. Bos no he’s not the boss…

    Second, I am not D. Bos – i disagreed with D. Bos.

    Third, I see a growing trend in peoples responds regarding the race card. When it first started showing up and the term politically correct was used ridiculously too much, everyone was afraid to say anything for fear of being labelled or targeted.

    But everything has become lopsided. Skin doesn’t create and/or do the crimes – it’s the people in the skin. Color means nothing it’s the behavior and thinking.

    Do we know anything about these boys? MAYBE they already have a rap sheet? Maybe they’re guilty but someone didn’t do their job right.

    All I know is the mentality to blame race as a factor or to use it to excuse behavior is sick.

    And to say that animals should land someone in jail. Stop. Think about what D. Bos (first commenter) said. This is a living being on this Earth. What gave this sick people the right to abduct, restrain, torture and hurt ANYTHING?

    If it was reversed – let’s say a wild animal traps these boys, holds them hostage and starts to just maul at them, call a friend to enjoy the kill. That animal, when found, would be euthanized.

    Maybe we shoudl treat these kids the same – as wild animals that are endangering our society.

    Oh yeah…and the color of the dog’s skin wasn’t a factor.

    Thes kids are sick. And it’s sick to state that color and what was tortured shouldn’t matter = if anyone thinks it’s okay to abduct, torture and set on fire and/or attempt to kill anything is okay for any reason – they should get their head examined because clearly they are part of the problem not the solution.