Baltimore prosecutors lost two tough cases this week - the animal cruelty trial of twin brothers charged with setting a pit bull on fire, and the trial of a man accused of killing two girls in a hit-and-run on Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Sun reporter Scott Dance covered both cases. First, today's verdict in the hit-and-run case, where prosecutors had secured a guilty plea from a co-defendant in exchange for her testimony against the alleged driver:
"Two jurors said after the trial they doubted who was driving – Dunn or his girlfriend, key witness Kendra Myles – when two teenage girls were struck and tossed more than 100 feet. Myles broke down in tears on the witness stand Thursday, testifying that Dunn asked her to switch seats with him after the accident.
The girls' families and supporters, meanwhile, were devastated, gasping as the verdict was announced, burying their faces in their hands, shaking in anger or crying."
In the pit bull burning case, the suspects' father spoke out, criticizing the investigation:
"The police are supposed to be protecting," Charles Johnson said Thursday. He reiterated arguments from defense lawyers that the brothers were wrongfully identified as suspects.
But a spokesman for State's Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said the decision was made to retry the case in part because all but one juror agreed to convict the brothers in the first trial. Bernstein said in a statement Wednesday he respected the verdict and would continue to make animal cruelty crimes a priority.