BALTIMORE (WJZ)— It’s a bumpy road for prosecutors trying to convict twin brothers accused of setting a pit bull on fire.
Weijia Jiang has more on the obstacles on the witness stand.
There is no DNA or forensic evidence that links the brothers to the dog, so testimony is critical. Some of it has been contradictory, and one woman refused to testify at all. So now prosecutors are turning to what may be the star witness in this case: a city police camera.
Prosecutors are relying heavily on surveillance video that shows two men leading a young pit bull into an alley. The dog named Phoenix was set on fire there. She was burned so badly that she had to be euthanized.
On Thursday, a sergeant identified the men seen on the tape as 20-year-old twins Travers and Tremayne Johnson. They are on trial for torching the puppy and face animal cruelty charges.
The sergeant testified two pairs of jeans, sneakers and a backpack recovered from the brothers’ home match what he saw in the video. He also told jurors an eyewitness pointed to both brothers in a photo during the investigation.
“I saw this individual running from where the dog was burnt to death,” Tiera Goodman said during the investigation.
Earlier this week, the judge held Goodman in criminal contempt after she refused to testify. He then sentenced the 25-year-old woman to 6 months in prison.
Her refusal to talk shocked prosecutors. Goodman was a star witness during the first trial in February 2011 that ended in a hung jury. A single holdout could not convict the Johnsons.
This retrial was originally expected to wrap up Thursday afternoon but is far from that. Prosecutors haven’t even finished presenting their case.
The trial is expected to last for at least another week.