Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I was informed about this case of animal cruelty by a friend from facebook. Getting into the Orange County Courthouse involves plenty of time waiting to get through metal detectors. The guard searching my supplies was surprised by my watercolor brushes and he squeezed the handle of one of the brushes and squirted water out over everything. As I was gathering my things he said to me "Your that artist aren't you?" I said "I suppose so" and headed for the elevators.
Christopher Comins who is on the far left in the sketch, stands charged with 2 counts animal cruelty for shooting two Huskies. The shooting was caught on video by a tourist who happened to be on Narcoossee road on the day of the shooting, May 19th 2009. The video has animal rights activists everywhere angered. Comins lawyer has been trying to get the case dismissed arguing that Comins was acting in self defense and he had a right to shoot the dogs who were in a field near some cattle. The dog owner, Chris Butler, was placed on the stand and he said he had shouted out to Comins "Would you please stop shooting my dogs?"
The dogs lived after some expensive medical treatment. Hoochie lost an eye and Raily still has a bullet in him. Under cross examination Chris said the dogs would not hurt a fly. He got choked up as he said "People have always told me they are such beautiful dogs."
The whole point of this pre trial hearing was that Comins lawyer was trying to get the case dismissed since his client had a right to shoot the dogs and he was acting in self defense. For two hours both sides argued their case. Judge Bob Le Blanc, though he seemed to sympathize with the cattleman, decided he could not rule on the case alone and thus this case will go to trial by jury.
As soon as I heard this, I went out in the hallway to make a call. Seated outside was Chris Butler who could not stand to watch the proceedings. He looked tired and worn like he had been crying. I told him the news that the case would be going to trial and then he stood and told me that Comins needs to answer for what he did.