Judge Unjustly Reverses Guilty Ruling
On November 3, 2016, Judge Howell Beech of Jones County Justice Court found George Moffett of Moselle, Mississippi, guilty of willfully not taking his dog for veterinary care when he discovered that she had been horribly injured. Her bottom jaw hung lifelessly to her face, rendering her unable to eat or drink. The dog, Snow, was emaciated when Jones County Deputy Porfirio “Pancho” Grimaldo and Southern Cross Rescue team members responded to a report that Snow was in a state of extreme neglect. Snow was in such awful shape that she then had to be euthanized.
At the time of the investigation, Moffett admitted to knowing Snow was injured and witnesses, photos, and a veterinary finding supported criminal intent in Moffett’s neglect of Snow as she had allegedly been suffering, and unable to eat or drink for weeks. The case, in preparation for months, went to court with certainty of a conviction.
After hearing from witnesses, viewing the veterinary report, and seeing the photos of Snow Judge Beech acknowledged the facts in the case and read the law out loud. He said confidently that the defendant was guilty.
Before a stunned courtroom audience, Moffett’s defense attorney yelled out that his client did not get a chance to testify. The judge allowed Moffett to speak. Moffett rambled on about how he wasn’t an animal abuser and that he loves his dogs. He said he had not seen Snow in days and wasn’t aware she was even hurt, contradicting evidence and testimony to the contrary. Then, Judge Beech did the unthinkable! He whispered his verdict of “Not guilty,” to the horror of most present in the court. We cannot let this action go unnoticed!