No Justice For Phoenix: Brothers Acquitted Of Fatal Burning

There will be no justice for a pit bull named Phoenix who gained a huge outpouring of sympathy from animal lovers when she was fatally burned in 2009. A Baltimore jury found the twin brothers accused of dousing the dog with gasoline and setting her on fire, not guilty.

Phoenix, who was burned over 80 percent of her body, was found alive by a Baltimore police officer who rushed the critically injured dog to the BARCS shelter for help. Sadly Phoenix had to be euthanized 5 days later.

Evidence and eyewitnesses led to the arrest of two teenage brothers Travers and Tremayne Johnson. The twins went to trial in February 2011, but it ended in a hung jury.

The Johnson twins went to trial again and Wednesday a jury found the brothers not guilty of the crime. Witnesses that testified at the first trial chose not to testify at the second, including a police sergeant who identified the brothers in a video walking Phoenix just minutes before her attack.

“Everyone rallied to try to help this dog who had been injured so badly and to seek justice, but we have a jury system and we have to accept the verdict,” said Caroline Griffin, who leads the mayor’s Anti-Animal Abuse Advisory Commission, which was formed directly as a result of Phoenix’s death.

“I think this case was compromised by the fact that witnesses refused to testify,” Griffin said. “We need people to be the eyes and ears of animal cruelty and neglect and to report it and to testify when these cases go to court.”

One good outcome from the tragedy is that it led to big changes in the way animal abuse cases are handled in Baltimore. Police now get special training on how to gather evidence from crime scenes involving animals.

According to ohmidog blog, police mishandled clothing seized at the Johnson’s home and no DNA, fingerprints or other forensic evidence was collected.

Jennifer Brause, executive director of BARCS said, “She did not die in vain and she will always be in our memories. I think it’s a very sad outcome but I do not think that people should think that’s how all animal abuse cases are going to turn out.”

Travers and Tremayne Johnson are still in jail, being held on other charges.


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Justice For Dog Doused With Gasoline – The Story Of Phoenix

Photo Credit: Dingo Photo Credit: Dingo


William C
William Cabout a year ago


W. C
W. C1 years ago

Thank you.

AMY M5 years ago

I wonder what they will burn next! Jurors shame on you, witness shame on you, judge shame on you! This sickens me to hear!!

Suzanne Owens
Suzanne S5 years ago

@ Judy J....very true....

Stacey M.
Stacey M5 years ago

I hope these 2 bastards are killed in prison and a similar fate to the jury. Goddamn we have some sick and stupid ass people in this world!

Sandra Z.
Sandra Z5 years ago

tears, idle quote Wordsworth. F**k these pos' quote me.

Berty Jardine
Berty J5 years ago


Patricia Guilhem
Patricia G5 years ago

J' ai envie de vomir. Que ces jumeaux pourrissent en prison. Ils ne méritent que ça. Il n' y a pas de justice pour les animaux. En France aussi, les animaux ne sont pas assez protégés. Ils sont considérés comme des meubles, oui des meubles. Quelle honte ! mais nous nous battons pour que cela change et que les animaux soient considérés comme des êtres sensibles et capables d' émotion, d' amour et ressentent la douleur.

Judy Jackson
Judy Jackson5 years ago

In many states, animals are considered property. Property laws say that a person can dispose of their property in any way they see fit. This is an outrage, but I am not surprised at all by the verdict. While many Americans wail & moan about the atrociites committed in other countries, they are turning a blind eye to what is happening right here at home when it comes to the abuse of children, women & animals. The USA is NOT a whole lot different than most other countries, we are, however, much more hypocritical.

Jaime P.
Jaime Perez5 years ago

This is so disgusting and wrong. Those two bastards should have had the same thing done to them as they did to this poor innocent baby. What is wrong with our justice system. And the cowards who chose not to testify-may karma get you!