Driver found not guilty of running down terrier Dog was hit on a dare, Jeep passenger testifies

March 25, 1997|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County jury yesterday found a grocery clerk not guilty of intentionally killing Beasley, a black terrier, in White Marsh when he ran over the dog July 4 with his Jeep.

Joseph Glenn Myers Jr., 25, of Kingsville was acquitted of charges of animal mutilation and reckless driving after his Jeep swerved off Heathcliff Road and hit the animal on the grass while he was taking friends to a fireworks display.

Thomas Hopkins, who was driving behind Myers, said he saw the Jeep drive toward the dog, then watched the six people in the Jeep "whooping and cheering" after it struck the animal.

One of the Jeep's occupants, Candy Rogers, testified that Myers purposely hit the dog on a dare from another passenger.

Myers, however, testified that he was trying to avoid the animal when he ran off the road and believed he did not hit it when he left the scene without stopping.

When prosecutor Matt Woods asked Myers on the witness stand if he hit the dog on a dare from a friend, Myers answered: "That's completely preposterous."

Myers' lawyer, Lawrence Pinno Jr., tried to portray the 8-inch-tall Beasley as a dog out of control who ran the neighborhood streets unleashed. One neighbor testified that he almost hit the dog several times when it ran into the road.

Myers was convicted in October in District Court of killing the dog and sentenced to six months in the county detention center. He took his case to the Circuit Court for a jury to hear his appeal.

Yesterday, Pinno called several witnesses who testified that Myers, a grocery clerk at Giant Food and graduate of Overlea High School, was an animal lover who would never harm anyone.

Pub Date: 3/25/97

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