Pretrial motions and jury selection begin Monday in Baltimore in the case of two men accused of setting a pit bull puppy on fire.
The prosecution of Travers and Tremayne Johnson, both charged with animal cruelty for allegedly dousing a pit bull puppy with gasoline and setting it on fire in 2009, will resume Monday with pretrial motions and jury selection.
The dog, named Phoenix by rescue workers, had to be euthanized.
The proceedings will move to a ceremonial courtroom so Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill can assemble a larger-than-average pool of potential jurors. The case has received national attention and it could be difficult to find jury members who are not familiar with the allegations against the 18-year-olds.
The trial is expected to last two to six days, attorneys said.
On Friday, an attorney for Travers Johnson, whois in custody on unrelated attempted-murder charges, argued that the teen’s brief statement to police should be suppressed. The argument will continue Monday with testimony from a Baltimore detective.
Other defense pretrial motions involve suppressing witness identifications, issues with city surveillance videos, a witness who has expressed an intent to recant, and whether the prosecution can include references to the teens’ tattoos and alleged gang involvement.
During a hearing in October 2009, Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Rallo outlined plans to present expert testimony about the brothers’ “affiliation with a gang.”