That Dog Don't Hunt

Muzzling the Cadaver Dogs

Although the odds of getting evidence and ‘testimony’ from the cadaver dogs who searched the murder scene were slim, it’s now official that none of their findings will make it into the trial.

The original affidavit said the dogs altered (to human blood or remains) at two spots at 1509; the patio drain and the dryer lint trap. 

Dogs, notorious liars, especially untrustworthy on the stand, were unlikely to be sworn in, but a week ago, the defense snapped back anyway, filing a Joint Motion In Limine to Exclude All Evidence of Cadaver Dog Searches and “Alerts.”  

At 30 pages, this doc goes into great detail, with precedent (Dyas v. United States, 376 A.2d. 827 (DC)) and defense experts’ opinions attached on why the government was barking up the wrong tree.

The documents, including Judge Lynn Leibovitz’ hand-written notations on the order follow after the jump.   A (not-so) shaggy dog story too.


Indicative of little or nothing, perhaps the result of our finely tuned noses looking to track any possible scent; the four of us, pet lovers all, were struck by one small fact as we tried to understand the family dynamic of the household at 1509 Swann Street.  No pets.

Again, meaningless; maybe the absence of critters was due to one of the housemates, Sarah Morgan included, being allergic. 

Could be. 

But what stood out to us, with every gay couple that we know, at least one dog or cat shares their homes.   

No matter.  No pets were allowed at 1509 Swann Street. 

-posted by Craig


Defense Joint Motion In Limine to Exclude All Evidence of Cadaver Dog Searches and “Alerts.”  

Signed Order Excluding All Evidence of Cadaver Dog Searches And “Alerts”

12 comments for “That Dog Don't Hunt

  1. CC Biggs
    04/25/2010 at 2:23 PM

    What do you mean no pets at 1509 Swann? They had Dylan.

    • John Grisham
      04/25/2010 at 3:56 PM

      That’s correct. They had a few pigs in the house.

  2. CDinDC
    04/25/2010 at 4:09 PM


  3. CDinDC
    04/25/2010 at 4:10 PM

    Perhaps the dogs will testify at the murder trial.

  4. Clio
    04/25/2010 at 4:19 PM

    If Miss Phelps (not Joan) Collins was even an occasional visitor to Swann, then it was best that the trouple had no pets.

    And, even a cat would find that “sardine can” a bit confining: where would it exercise?

    Most importantly, to care of a pet means to take care of something besides yourself. That was/is, of course, beyond the emotional development of the biologically male residents. Recall that the primary two had outsourced care of their own children in order to pursue their self-absorbed orbits.

    Finally, the members of the Triple Alliance sans Miss Morgan showered and cleaned compulsively. If they had had a pet, then they would never get out of the shower or laundry area.

  5. John Grisham
    04/25/2010 at 4:36 PM

    This question also likely confounded investigators, in light of the leather dog collars they initially found on the premises.

  6. Charl
    04/25/2010 at 4:44 PM

    In the judge’s notation, the motion is denied – does this not mean that the evidence may be used? There’s a term after ‘denied’ that I don’t follow, is this what confuses me?

    • CDinDC
      04/25/2010 at 5:01 PM

      Charl, the wording is “denied as moot.” The motion is irrelevant since the government is not going to present the evidence.

      • Charl
        04/25/2010 at 5:05 PM

        Thanks! I thought the last part was confusing me. I guess, since murder is not the main objective, this doesn’t weaken the prosecution’s case?

        • Bea
          04/25/2010 at 6:46 PM

          It seems to me that the prosecution is going lean and mean – wants to prove the trio knew who did it, conspired to keep it a secret, covered up and tampered with the scene. The prosecution doesn’t care if the jury thinks Michael did the killing – no need to get bogged down in that which might confuse the jury. If, for example, extraneous stuff gets tossed in the mix, such as cadaver dogs sniffing blood, then the defense would call other witnesses about unreliability. The jury could think “well, the defense won that issue about the dogs, so I guess there wasn’t blood in the trap – is that reasonable doubt?”

          Better to keep it simple because the charges are NOT murder charges.

          • plumskiter
            04/25/2010 at 7:31 PM

            good analysis bea.

  7. Robert
    04/26/2010 at 6:03 AM

    I agree with BEA. It is better that the prosecution, unlike the police, not do anything with this case which would risk “throwing it to the dogs.”

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