GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Top Stories

October 12, 2013

Judge eyes bail review in pit bull heroin case

The man accused of slaying and gutting his pet pit bull after the dog ingested heroin no longer faces charges tied to those allegations, but remains in Middleton Jail on additional animal abuse and heroin possession charges that arose during the case.

John “Jack” Dugan has been held in Middleton Jail on $20,000 cash bail since a June plea hearing in Salem Superior Court. But, with two animal cruelty charges dropped in the case against him, the court on Friday tentatively scheduled a judge to review his bail Tuesday afternoon.

The parties involved also set a Jan. 22 trial date for the remaining charges, with a final pretrial conference to fall on Dec. 5, exactly one year after Dugan’s initial arrest. Police had found the dog’s body, gutted and discarded against a fence on the Sadler Street Extension, and traced the crime back to her owner.

Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Q. Feeley, after hearing arguments from the prosecution and defense, had dismissed two counts of animal cruelty — one related to Dugan allegedly having gutted his pit bull, Xena; the other related to an incident prior to Xena’s alleged killing when Dugan allegedly allowed the dog to choke after becoming entangled in exercise equipment.

Feeley had determined the prosecution could not prove the two counts, though he dismissed them without prejudice, after a key witness recanted her statements to police.

Feeley also determined that no law requires humans to alleviate an animal’s suffering or self-inflicted harm. And he discovered that the prosecution provided no evidence that heroin had absolutely caused the dog, Xena’s, death.

Dugan’s defense attorney John Morris had filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss all charges against Dugan.

“They still can’t prove this case,” Morris said Friday of the prosecution led by Assistant District Attorney Karen Hopwood.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Top Stories

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case