Dog attack trial goes to the jury

SAGINAW The attack happened in Buena Vista Township in March 2009.

Police report three pit bulls attacked two neighbors. Both were seriously injured and suffered permanent injuries.

The trial started last Thursday. Testimony wrapped up today.

At issue is whether Anthony Hunt and Shamarrow Amos owned the dogs that attacked their neighbors.

The prosecution claims the couple owned all three dogs, while the defense says the dogs were given away before the attack.

After the prosecution rested its case, everyone called today was a defense witness.

Five friends of Amos and Hunt testified. All told the court that Hunt had given them a baby pit bull from a recent litter. They also testified they received the dogs sometime in January,  nearly two months before the attack on Bridgetta Hadley and Duane Vanlanham.

Hunt also took the stand. He claimed he owned only one dog, the mother of the puppies, when the attack happened.

They called her Ma.

"Yeah I had 'em all at one point, before I gave them away," said defendant Anthony Hunt.

Defense Attorney E. Brady Denton: That looks like the color of the house dog?"

Defense witness Jasmine Lispey: Yeah, right.

Denton: Does the house dog have a name?

Lipsey: Ma.

Hunt admits he owned the pit bull named Ma,  but claims she wasn't there the morning of the attack. Instead, Hunt says, Ma was in Saginaw with him. "It never actually lived there. It's just our dog. Wherever I'm at or wherever she's at, we just, you know, it's like a child to us. We got the dog together."

Denton: Did you ever receive a puppy from him?

Defense witness Antoine Archibald: Yes I did.

Defense witness Dolores Show: It was like in the middle of January.

Each side wrapped up its case during closing statements.

E. Brady Denton asked the jury to consider this question. "These people admitted those dogs were theirs at one point. But when did they get rid of those dogs?"

Assistant Prosecutor Norm Donker told jurors the dog attack happened because Hunt and Amos didn't control the animals. "The defendants in this case were irresponsible, and two people got hurt very badly."

Jurors deliberated for three hours Wednesday and went home at 4:30. Deliberations resume Thursday morning at 9.

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