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Prosecution Struggles In Second Trial For Twins Accused Of Setting Pit Bull On Fire

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—In the case against twin brothers accused of setting a dog on fire, the lead detective tries to convince a jury he arrested the right suspects.

Adam May has the latest from court.

After some unexpected setbacks, prosecutors are trying to salvage this case.

The story of Phoenix, a dog burned alive in the streets of Baltimore, outraged people across the country.

“Her tongue, her eyes, her pads are scotched off, her vulva… Unbelievable,” said a veterinarian.

Despite all out efforts, Phoenix did not survive. Soon after, in 2009, twin brothers Tremayne and Travers Johnson were arrested.

Their first trial, ended with a deadlocked jury. And this second trial is off to a rocky start.

The star witness Tiera Goodman was found in contempt of court after refusing to testify.

Key evidence is surveillance video showing two young men leaving the scene where the dog was found. But the judge ruled the lead detective couldn’t properly identify one of them as a suspect.

Defense attorneys grilled the lead detective asking if he could identify any of the other individuals and he said no.

The brothers sit attentively in court taking notes, but the slow proceedings have some jurors actually falling asleep.

Advocates against animal abuse also sit in court.

“We hope there is a good verdict in the case, but either way the case has brought enormous attention to the issue of animal abuse in our city,” said an animal rights activist.

Prosecutors have been successful getting some statements from Goodman entered into court record.

There are a handful of additional witnesses, and then the defense will take over later in the week.

Right now, the brothers are locked up for other crimes unrelated to the dog burning.

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