(Memphis) The case against former Memphis Animal Services employee Demetria Hogan has been dismissed.
The District Attorney dropped the charges due to a lack of evidence.
“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,” District Attorney General Amy Weirich said.
Prosecutors originally said Hogan failed to perform her duties, lied about what she was doing on logs and abused her authority.
Hogan was indicted on seven counts stemming from two separate incidents during her tenure with Memphis Animal Services.
Those included four counts of official misconduct, one count of forgery, one count of theft and one count of cruelty to animals.
Hogan was fired from Memphis Animal Services in July 2011.
The DA's office reviewed records and witness interviews, which "revealed Hogan did arrive at the shelter with Kapone as indicated on her log sheet" on June 24, 2011. No evidence was found that supported claims Hogan later took the dog from the shelter.
Kapone remained missing until December 20, 2011, when he was found in Senatobia, Miss.
On July 12, 2011, Hogan picked up a dog named Max in Cordova. A second case against her alleged that she caused his death.
The DA's office says a forensic review indicated Max was exposed to 98-degree heat for at least an hour before Hogan caught him, and therefore "may have suffered a heatstroke prior to transport and died while in transit."
The following information was released by the Shelby County District Attorney’s office at the time the indictment was filed in April 2012:
According to the Memphis Police Department’s investigation, between June 23rd and July 1st, 2011, when she was an Animal Control Officer for Memphis Animal Services, Hogan failed to perform her duties, abused her authority and made false entries on official records when she stole a dog from the shelter.
On June 24th Hogan was dispatched to 1542 Oaken Bucket in Cordova to take custody of two dogs from Memphis Police Department Appling Farms Station.
Hogan made entry on her activity log sheet that she had collected the dogs at approximately 10:45 a.m..
At 11:14 a.m., Hogan indicated that she was in route to her home.
Hogan’s entries on her log sheet showed that she left her home at 12:24 p.m. in route to the shelter.
Her log sheet further indicated that she arrived at the shelter with both dogs at 12:50 p.m. and logged one of the dogs (known as “Kapone”) into one of the numbered units in the facility’s holding area upon her arrival.
The Memphis Police Department investigation revealed that Hogan did not arrive at the shelter as indicated on her log sheet.
Investigators reviewed video surveillance of the shelter’s holding area.
Hogan did not appear on any surveillance footage with any dogs although her log sheet entries indicated that she had.
Shelter records showed another employee logged in the second dog, “Jersey.”
The dogs’ owners came to the shelter to claim the dogs, but the shelter employees could not find “Kapone” anywhere at the facility.
“Kapone” was missing until last December, when he was found at a home in Senatobia, MS.
A second Memphis Police investigation indicated that on July 12, 2011, Hogan again abused her authority and neglected to perform required duties which ended with the death of a dog entrusted to her care.
According to investigators, Hogan answered a call regarding a stray loose dog that later died.
An autopsy[sic] of the animal revealed it died due to the heat while being transported by Hogan.
Hogan failed to ensure the health and safety of the animal while in her custody.
Official misconduct, forgery, and theft of property between $500.00 and $1,000.00 are all class E Felonies. Upon conviction, each count carries a sentence range from one year to six years.
Cruelty to Animals is a Class A Misdemeanor, with a sentence of up to eleven months and 29 days.