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|Judge(s):|| Richard Anderson| CONVICTED: Was justice served?
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Wednesday, Jul 9, 2008County: East Baton Rouge
» Jeremy Johnson
» Travis Johnson
Two Baton Rouge men who recently pleaded guilty in an animal cruelty case involving a pit bull and kittens are not welcome at the parish animal control center, the facility’s director said Monday.
A judge last month ordered brothers Jeremy and Travis Johnson to perform five eight-hour days of community service at the East Baton Rouge Parish Animal Control Center as part of their sentence.
The Johnsons were arrested in July 2008 after they allegedly stood by laughing as their pet pit bull ate a live kitten. Another kitten that had been mauled was found nearby in the grass by animal control officers.
“They are definitely not welcome in this department. They will be run off,’’ Hilton Cole, director of the animal control center, said Monday. “We don’t want dogfighters here. We don’t want cruelty cases.’’
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office will bring the matter to state District Judge Richard Anderson’s attention so the sentence can be amended.
Jeremy Johnson, 18, and Travis Johnson, 24, were charged with aggravated cruelty to animals but pleaded guilty July 22 to simple cruelty to animals.
Police and animal control officers who were dispatched to Bradley Street on July 9, 2008, observed Jeremy Johnson holding the pit bull’s leash while the dog consumed a kitten, police said.
At the time of the incident, Animal Control officers took custody of the pit bull.
In Louisiana, an aggravated cruelty to animals conviction is punishable by one to 10 years in prison. Simple cruelty to animals carries a sentence of up to six months in prison.
Anderson put the Johnsons on bench probation for a year, with several special conditions.
They both must pay a $150 fine, $125 in court costs, perform five eight-hour days of community service at the animal control center, and refrain from all criminal conduct.
“We read them the riot act,’’ said Robert Tucker, who represents Travis Johnson. “We wanted to get their undivided attention. I think they caught on.’’
Cole said he would reserve judgment when asked if justice was served in the case.
“Obviously, it’s a horrific case,’’ he said. “There was intent.’’
The simple cruelty to animals charge may be dismissed at the end of the probationary period, the judge’s order states.
The Johnsons are due back in court in mid-October to show they have paid their fines and court costs and are complying with the conditions of their probation.
- 2theadvocate.com - Aug 11, 2009
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