Special prosecutor picked to take over in dog-mauling case

Dutch, a breed called American Allaunt, attacked a woman so viciously that she required $28,000 in medical care.



Dutch the dog and his owner, who have so far stayed well beyond the reach of the law in Montrose, will face a veteran prosecutor as they appeal an order that the dog be surrendered for euthanasia.

A Montrose municipal judge in February ordered Jeremiah Aguilar, a U.S. Army veteran, to turn Dutch over for impoundment and to serve a two-day jail sentence for his conduct in connection with Dutch’s attack on his former owner.

Montrose hired former 7th Judicial District Attorney and federal prosecutor Wyatt Angelo as a special prosecutor for Dutch’s case while a new city attorney settles into the job.

Aguilar has filed an appeal of Judge Richard Brown’s ruling, in which Brown ordered officials to keep the animal alive pending the result of the promised appeal. Aguilar also faces an April hearing to explain to Brown why he failed to surrender the dog in response to the original order.

An online campaign, meanwhile, on Monday had raised more than $4,000 toward the goal of a $10,000 defense fund for Dutch.

More than 150 people, including one anonymous individual who pledged $200, have promised to contribute to Dutch’s defense on Fundrazr.com, a site to which viewers are referred from the Facebook page “Save Dutch.”

On Fundrazr, page creator Kathi Norris wrote that Aguilar and his wife, Heather, spent their life savings on Dutch and have hired a law firm to protect the dog. Aguilar, who told the court he is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and that Dutch soothes him when he suffers a post-traumatic stress disorder attack. Aguilar said he is on 100 percent disability from the Army as a result of PTSD.

Aguilar told the judge in February that he began training Dutch as a service dog in Oklahoma City after Dutch attacked a woman who tried to intercede in a fight between Dutch and a neighboring pit bull.

The woman, who had owned Dutch before Aguilar, testified she was mauled by Dutch after she dragged him into the house and was wiping his muzzle clean of blood from the fight.

She suffered multiple bite wounds on the back of her legs and thighs, including some that went to the bone, as well as a compound fracture of her finger.

The woman’s fiance, who is Aguilar’s brother, rescued her after she fled into a bedroom and locked Dutch out.

In sentencing Aguilar to jail, Brown noted he expressed no remorse for the woman’s injuries and didn’t rebuke the creators of web pages that took up Dutch’s cause, blaming the woman for the attack.

Aguilar said he had nothing to do with the Internet traffic in the case.

A reposting of a Facebook page “Save Dutch”  on March 26 declared, “WE’RE BACK!!! This page was immediately removed after the judge ordered the Aguilar’s from making any internet postings about this case. We have removed the Aguilar’s admin privileges and re-launched the page!!?”


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Regarding judicial behavior, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia said the following: “Now, in asserting that originalism used to be orthodoxy, I do not mean to imply that judges did not distort the Constitution now and then, of course they did. We had willful judges then, and we will have willful judges until the end of time. But the difference is that prior to the last 50 years or so, prior to the advent of the “Living Constitution,” judges did their distortions the good old fashioned way, the honest way — they lied about it. They said the Constitution means such and such, when it never meant such and such.”
I threw that in there so it would be crystal clear I am far from the only person who has ever said that judges lie from time to time. I believe the reason for that lies in the self-anointed doctrine of judicial “immunity” found in the pro-tyranny decisions of Bradley v. Fisher, 80 U.S. (13 Wallace) 335 (April 8, 1872), (read at the http://supreme.justia.com/us/80/335/case.html webpage), Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547 (1967), (read at the http://supreme.justia.com/us/386/547/case.html webpage), and Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349 (1978), (read at the http://supreme.justia.com/us/435/349/case.html webpage).
The main reason what seems like a dysfunctional family soap opera interests me is the behavior of the presiding judge, Richard Brown, who, Gary Harmon said, “... ordered the Aguilar’s from making any internet postings about this case.”
What’s that all about? I thought we had a 1st Amendment. If the trial had been to a jury, I could understand a court, as courts routinely do, ordering the jurors not to look at the internet, TV, or newpapers so as to not interfere with the administration of justice in an ongoing case. But in this instance, if my understanding is correct, the trial was to the judge. So what legitimate business does he have worrying about what’s in the media or on the internet?
The obvious answer is “none”. Apparently the judge is concerned that public opinion might be turned against him, and in favor of “Dutch”. Either that or he doesn’t want the Aguilars to be able to obtain the funds for adequate representation. Or perhaps both. Neither reason amounts to anything but the kind of inappropriate judicial arrogance that does not belong on the people’s benches. I have not changed my 1st-Amendment-protected opinion that the people of Montrose should fire Judge Brown.

Addendum:
In his dissent in Patterson v. Colorado, 205 U.S. 454 (1907) (read at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?navby=case&court=us&vol=205&page=454), Mr. Justice John Marshall Harlan said, “The public welfare cannot override constitutional privileges, and if the rights of free speech and of a free press are, in their essence, attributes of national citizenship, as I think they are, then neither Congress nor any state, since the adoption of the 14th Amendment, can, by legislative enactments or by judicial action, impair or abridge them.” I agree with Harlan’s opinion.
In this case, the alleged “public welfare” rides on Judge Brown being able to do whatever he sees fit to do in the case. However, with Justice Harlan, I don’t believe that can legitimately constitutionally override the fundamental 1st Amendment right of individuals to publicly express their opinions or ask for donations on the internet.
If public opinion were not de facto crucial to the outcome of court cases, there would not be a symbiotic relationship between law enforcement and the so-called “mainstream” media which is routinely manipulated in an attempt to convict an accused media in the press before trial even begins.
Seems to me that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. I have no problem with any person utilizing internet technology to solicit funds to appeal a judge’s ruling. To me, it is self-evident that is protected by the 1st Amendment.
In my opinion, a huge part of the underlying reason for the monetary collapse America is undergoing is because, as a people, we have coddled prima facie unconstitutional behavior and lying in our judges for far too long.
The only real beef the global debt-as-money elite “establishment” has with the internet is that, it takes money out of the equation when it comes to influencing public opinion. If the individual has the required computer and internet skills, a pauper can have just as good a website as a billionaire.
Authority (“authority” = delegated will) figures such as Judge Richard Brown may have a problem with that. I don’t.

ERRATA: In my above addendum, the phrase “attempt to convict an accused MEDIA in the press before trial” was supposed to be “attempt to convict an accused PERSON in the press before trial”. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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