Case against former Memphis Animal Shelter employee dismissed - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Case against former Memphis Animal Shelter employee dismissed

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich dismissed criminal charges against former Memphis Animal Services employee Demetria Hogan.

Her trial was set to begin Monday but the judge dismissed the case.

Hogan was indicted in April 2012 by a county grand jury on two separate indictments totaling four counts of official misconduct (a class "E" felony), one count of forgery (a class "E" felony), one count of theft of property (a class "E" felony) and one count of cruelty to animals (a class "A" misdemeanor).

"The evidence in this case was insufficient to create a reasonable likelihood of a conviction against Ms. Hogan when considered with the foreseeable defense that could be raised," said DAG Weirich.

Hogan was previously accused in the Kapone and Jersey dogs case where one of the dogs disappeared in June 2011 and was later found alive in Senatobia, Miss.

The District Attorney's office review of records and interviews with witnesses revealed Hogan did arrive at the shelter with Kapone as indicated on her log sheet. However, there was no evidence supporting claims that Hogan later took Kapone away from the shelter.

Kapone remained missing until the dog was recovered in Senatobia in December 2011. The investigation did not uncover how Kapone came to be in Senatobia.

The second case alleged that in July 2011 Hogan neglected to perform required duties and caused the death of a dog named Max. The D. A.'s office review of evidence subpoenaed from the city of Memphis revealed that Hogan was dispatched to one call prior to responding to the 7000 block of Long Lane in Cordova and arrived after 48 minutes.

Once on the scene, Hogan and others tried to give the dog, Max, water. The canine ran away a short distance and collapsed. Hogan put Max in the MAS vehicle and requested registration information. Upon receiving registration information, Hogan went to the owners' home and left note that the dog would be taken to MAS.

On July 12, 2011, the National Weather Service indicated that the high temperature in Memphis reached 98 degrees. The forensic review indicated Max was exposed to the 98-degree heat for at least an hour prior to Hogan taking it into custody. The forensic review further indicated that Max may have suffered a heatstroke prior to transport and died while in transit from Cordova to the MAS on Tchulahoma Road in southeast Memphis.

"Prosecutors need to take animal abuse more seriously. Maybe there wasn't enough of investigation going on here," said animal rights activist Beverly King. "The citizens of Memphis just do not trust now what's going on at the animal shelter and I don't know if they ever will."

Information from the DA's news release and staff reports.

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