On Monday, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss all four defendants charged with causing the deaths of 21 dogs at the Green Acre dog boarding facility in June.
“After thoroughly reviewing the records and fairly considering the points raised in recent defense motions, the theory of the case as initially presented to the grand jury did not take into account the possibility that there were issues with an air conditioning unit,” stated Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “This could impact a grand jury’s charging decision and how we might present a case to a trial jury.”
In October, a Maricopa grand jury indicted Jesse Todd Hughes and Malesia Maurine Hughes charging them with 22 felony counts and seven misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. Caretakers Austin Lane Flake and Logan Flake were charged with 21 counts of felony animal cruelty and seven misdemeanor counts.
The defense attorney for Austin Flake and his wife produced evidence showing the air-conditioning unit at the facility did have problems and subsequently was the cause of the dogs dying.
According to fox10phoenix.com, the owners of the dogs were devastated, with their attorney stating the dogs suffocated and did not die of heat exhaustion.
“So it doesn’t matter if the A/C was putting air in there or not; CO2 was building up, the return for the CO2 was next to where the dogs were. So you had a deadly buildup of carbon dioxide in that room that caused the death of these dogs,” stated the attorney for the dog owners.”
One count of fraud remains against Jesse and Maleisa Hughes.
The Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio subsequently stated he understood that dog lovers everywhere would be angry over Monday’s decision, but was confident that new charges could be forthcoming and stating he was:
“optimistic that any new expert opinion on additional matters raised by the plaintiff’s defense attorney will ultimately result in the resubmittal of charges against those responsible for the deaths of these family pets.”
The Facebook page, The Tragedy at Green Acre Dog Boarding, expressed their deep sorrow at the decision asking the question:
“Dear Bill Montgomery,
Can you please tell us what Investigator or Expert you need to confer with concerning the failure of the Flakes to render medical treatment to the dogs that were found still alive, but later died? I believe the statute reads:
Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly fails to provide medical attention necessary to prevent protracted suffering to any animal under the person’s custody or control.
Or are you trying to tell us that whether or not the A/C was working impacted the Flakes duty to render medical attention?”
Rest in peace dogs. No justice for your deaths has yet to be served.
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