Animal Cruelty

Dallas man accused of burning puppy Justice pleads guilty in deal

Dallas man accused of burning puppy Justice pleads guilty in deal

One of the four men arrested in connection with the burning of a puppy in Pleasant Grove in 2012 has pled guilty in a deal with the Dallas District Attorney's Office and will serve two years in prison.

Adrian Ayers, 21, was sentenced on June 19, and his punishment is scheduled to begin September 16, 2013. He remains in county jail, on other pending charges.

Dallas DA spokesperson Debbie Denmon confirmed Ayer's deal.

"We entered into a plea agreement with Adrian Ayers, so that the defendant will be serving a two-year prison term for an animal cruelty charge," she said. "We have three other defendants going to trial on this matter so we are refraining from talking beyond this point."

Ayers will serve two years in state jail and pay a $1500 fine for a 3rd degree felony. He was arrested along with Darius Ewing, Darius Carey and Richard Valentine for dousing the puppy known as "Justice" with lighter fluid, then setting the dog on fire. The puppy died 10 days later. The case has earned international attention.

The foursome have been in jail awaiting trial. In December 2012, Judge Larry Mitchell ruled that the four defendants would be tried together, not separately. Their trial date has been pushed back twice and is currently scheduled for August.

Ayers' attorney told KRLD that his client may be required to testify against the other three men.

Adrian Ayers mugshot
Adrian Ayers was arrested in April.  Photo courtesy of Dallas County Sheriff's Office