Dangerous Dog Law
- Published on 11 January 2011
Comins Trial - Day 1
Jury Selection, Opening Statement and First Witness Called
The jury was selected, the attorneys gave their opening statements, and a witness to the shooting was called. The newspaper coverage by the Orlando Sentinel can be read here.
No surprise that the defense is asking the jury to look past the video showing Comins firing 9 shots. Sommerville and fellow defense attorney Chandler Muller argued that the two huskies had escaped their owner, found cattle in the pasture and, as Sommerville put it Monday, were "in the process of killing these cattle."
Prosecutor DeYoung argued that the dogs had collars on and that Comins continued to fire even as onlookers shouted for him to stop and even as the dogs' owner came running, also calling for him to stop firing. And of course, none of the cattle were injured in any way.
The first witness, Raigan Alianell appeared to be problematic for the defense. Asked by Muller if she saw either dog charge at Comins, Alianell said, "I saw him turn when he got shot in the shoulder, and then he got it in the face immediately after." She described witnesses on the scene "screaming, 'Stop! Stop! Stop him!'" When asked by DeYoung if she thought the dogs should have been shot, Alianell said, "Absolutely not."
Score one witness for the prosecution.