2 on trial in Justice the dog cruelty case - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Two plead guilty in Justice the dog cruelty case

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Two men set to go on trial Tuesday in Dallas for setting a dog on fire pleaded guilty to one count each of felony animal cruelty.

Darius Ewing, the person who poured lighter fluid on the 4-month-old puppy, could get up to two years in jail. Ewing will be sentenced at a later date. The other man, Richard Valentine, got 15 months in jail.

Both men could have been jailed for as long as 10 years, but the judge ruled the lighter fluid used was not a deadly weapon. Therefore, the charges could not be upgraded for a longer jail sentence.

Darius Ewing had agreed to a five year sentence, but the judge threw out the agreement.

"I think it was unfair because the judge put his own opinion in this and didn't follow what the state and the defense had agreed to," said Jonnie England, an animal activist.

Prosecutors say they are considering an appeal for Ewing's case.

The lab terrier  – named Justice by rescuers – suffered third degree burns over 70 percent of his body and died a few days after being set on fire in April 2012.

Darius Carey and Adrian Ayers have already pleaded guilty to the same charge. Ayers is serving a two-year sentence.

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