Darius Ewing, the 18-year-old black man who surrendered to Dallas Police after the death of the stray lab-terrier puppy Justice, saw his bail dropped from $100,000 to $50,000 at a hearing last week. Justice died on April 13, a little more than a week after the puppy was unsuccessfully hanged then set on fire.
The ruling comes as a victory for Ewing, as well as South Dallas activist Reverend Ronald Wright, who called Ewing's original bail amount "excessive." When citizens found about Wright's involvement in the case a few weeks ago, many animal lovers and Wright haters called or email him to spew vitriol.
"I am a very open person," one woman said in a voicemail. "But I call you the 'N-word' right now."
Wright suspects the stance even led to the death of his own dog, Sadie, a two-year-old German shepherd found dead in Wright's backyard on May 4. According to a friend in animal control, the dog was most likely poisoned, Wright said.
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Still, Wright's not satisfied with the reduced bail.
"We're not happy," Wright said. "It should be even lower." His claim is that some men get lower bonds for killing men, let alone torturing animals. He points to a precedent in early-January last year when a 57-year-old man named Thomas Lindsey was arrested for torturing three dogs.
There was witness on the scene who saw Lindsey, who's white, spray three dogs with poison. According to Wright, two of the dogs died. Lindsey was arrested and charged with three counts of cruelty to non-livestock animals. He was released on a $3,000 bond and has yet to stand trial.
"If it's justice, it should be done all across the board."