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Thursday, May 12, 2011County: Multnomah
Case Images: 1 files available
» Wayne Martin
» Layne Woods
Two Northeast Portland men were convicted of first-degree animal neglect in Multnomah County Circuit Court Wednesday, a day after their attorney subpoenaed four dogs to try and convince jurors the animals were in good shape.
Instead, the jury found Wayne Martin and Layne Woods guilty of the first-degree charge but not guilty of second-degree animal neglect. The pair now faces up to one year in jail, a $6,250 fine and cannot own domestic animals for five years.
The three Great Danes and one blue pit bull were canine celebrities at the courthouse as they waited to appear before the jury Tuesday. Authorities seized the animals on May 12, days after a sick Shar Pei - a 12-year-old named Blondie - was voluntarily handed over to authorities. That dog was later euthanized.
Prosecutors argued the men failed to provide adequate veterinary care. They called witnesses from the Oregon Human Society to the stand, who testified that although all the dogs were severely infested with fleas, one of the Great Danes had deep leg wounds that oozed pus and the Shar Pei had a pus-filled mass on her head.
Defense attorneys said the accusations were exaggerated and the dogs had food, water and shelter in a loving home. They summoned the animals for proof.
After spending most of Monday and Tuesday waiting with their handlers outside Judge John Wittmayer's courtroom, the Great Danes - Merlin, Patches and Raven - and Coco the pit bull appeared before jurors for about five minutes before they were allowed to leave.
It was the first time most courthouse employees could remember dogs being subpoenaed to testify. Wittmayer, however, recalled a story from more than 30 years ago where a dog belonging to a man accused of robbing a doughnut shop was called into court because a witness could only describe the robber's dog.
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