For the past week the trial of Travers and Tremayne Johnson was held in Baltimore, with the jury deliberating for about 2 ½ days.  Earlier this evening, a mistrial was declared.  The jury sent a note to the judge indicating it couldn’t reach a verdict after they began deliberations on the animal cruelty charges against the defendants in the burning death of a pit bull named Phoenix.

The Johnson twins left the courtroom smiling.

Apparently, according to those watching the case, the jury was dealing with the lack of definitive evidence.  Testimony revealed the items held for evidence were improperly stored by the police and therefore were contaminated.  The taped statement by Travers Johnson was inaudible.  And witnesses were only motivated by money and protecting their own backsides.  Yes – the jury had a tough job.

Animal welfare advocates tried to put a positive spin on the outcome. They said the trial was a “big boon to animal abuse education”, and another trial will just give more attention to the subject.

I don’t see the positive spin on this.  I can’t see how this will boost animal abuse education.  Look at the neighborhood involved.

Tiera Goodman showed all too well the mindset of the neighborhood.  She was a witness in court that saw the defendants running from the scene of the crime seconds after Phoenix was set on fire.  She didn’t hesitate to acknowledge that she was there for the reward money.  In her own words, “I know what I saw, I just didn’t care until I seen the reward.”

I just didn’t care until I seen the reward.

She is already in jail for another case.  Gives a good hint as to why, right?

Michael Taylor decides he doesn’t want to testify against his “friends” and declares his statements to the police regarding his information about the crime were all “lies”.  He was questioned about the dog-burning incident after police raided his home in June 2009 where the police found a gun and marijuana.  He and his girlfriend were arrested.   I guess he thought if he turned over on his friends maybe the gun and drug charges would “go away”.

As for Travers Johnson himself he may have left the courtroom smiling but he didn’t get to go home.   Travers Johnson now faces charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and possession and discharging a handgun.  This past October, Travers Johnson was arguing with another guy and his sister when Johnson pulled out a black handgun from his waist and shot at them three times, then fled.

And the same neighborhood just saw a mother cat with kittens lit afire by two youths.  Mittens survived but only by the grace of God.

Baltimore wants to educate that?  GOOD LUCK!  The only way to educate a neighborhood lacking morals, responsible parenting, and empathy…predisposition to crime, anger, revenge, insensitivity, depravity, and cruelty…is to take the whole area and relocate it to the surface of the moon and let some other intelligent race take a crack at it.  No wait, that won’t work.  The surest sign that intelligent life really exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact Earth.

12/1/2009 – Justice for Phoenix

6/8/2009 – Juveniles Arrested in Pit Bull Burning

5/29/2009 – Pit Bull Torched in Baltimore


Thanks Andrea, I know that was a tough one for you.  I’d been following the trial coverage last week and got more and more discouraged every day by the way things were going.  By the last day I felt it would be almost a miracle for the jury to come back with a conviction, for justice for Phoenix.  It’s sad and pathetic and it makes me angry and hurts my heart.

I am almost ashamed to admit that I grew up in Baltimore now.  When I was a child you could play and run around without too much worry.  Cops walked the beat and neighbors chatted in the evenings.  By the time I left and relocated to Wisconsin over a dozen years ago I couldn’t even drive through the neighborhood I grew up in.  A once proud and lovely neighborhood was nothing but a broken down slum filled with crack houses, gangs and thugs.  The crime rate there astounds me and there are often questions about some of the elected officials.

That is not a city I want to lay claim to and with some of the wastes of lives that now inhabit it, I am thankful I no longer live there, no longer share a city with the kinds of POSes that would happily torch an innocent animal then walk out of court smiling and smirking knowing they got off on this one.  I feel sorry for the good people who still inhabit that city, because there are good people, people who care, I fear for their safety, fear for the safety of the children, of the elders, of the animals.

As for these twin brothers, ‘upstanding citizens’ that they are, justice may have let Phoenix down but with the road they are on I honestly believe their future will only hold concrete cells and bars or worse for them and I cannot say that I feel any sympathy.  My heart still grieves for Phoenix, an innocent life cruelly and viciously ended by the heartless cruelty of monsters.  Rest in peace Phoenix, you still live on in the hearts of many and now are in a better place. ~Deanna

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