Jury trial set for accused dog abuser

Photo by Nita Johnson

David Griffith, 18, leaves the courtroom following his pretrial hearing on Tuesday morning. Griffith is one of four teens charged with abusing a stray dog and inevitably causing its death. Evidence against two other men involved in the case has been presented to a Laurel grand jury for possible indictment.

A jury trial was set for one of four people charged in the abuse and impending death of a dog earlier this year.

David O. Griffith, 18, of Keavy, appeared in Laurel District Court on Monday morning for a pretrial hearing on charges of second-degree cruelty to animals, two counts of third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor and obstructing governmental operations.

District Judge John Chappell set a date for January 8 after he and Griffith's attorney discussed several potential dates for the trial. The trial will be held at the district court level since all the charges against Griffith are misdemeanor offenses.

Griffith is one of four people charged with abusing a stray dog in the East Bernstadt area in late July. A Snapchat video showed a male hitting the dog in the face, causing it to fall to the ground. The dog was later found on a farm where it had been being cared for by the property owner, Quinn Sizemore. Sizemore recognized the dog from the Snapchat video and searched her property and found the animal suffering from numerous stab wounds and attempted to take the dog to a veterinarian but the dog died en route.

Griffith was named as the videographer of the abuse that hit Snapchat. He is also accused of obstructing government operations by first stating that he picked up two of the persons involved in the abuse and took them home, denying any knowledge of the abuse. He later turned himself in to authorities and was charged; however, jail records do not indicate that Griffith was ever held in jail on those charges.

Three other persons were arrested in the case, one of those being a 17-year-old juvenile. The other two males, both age 18, were charged with cruelty to animals and their cases were sent to a Laurel grand jury. Court records show that the evidence against 18-year-old Toby Glenn Harrison and 18-year-old Noah Blevins was presented to the grand jury in September and the case was continued to the October session which meets this week.

njohnson@sentinel-echo.com

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