Day 3 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal


LadyjpgTarrick Fakira-Martin had an “exclusive opportunity to neglect, abuse and kill Lady,” his German shepherd found buried in a shallow grave on July 3 of last year.
However, after three days of testimony at the Elgin County Courthouse, defense counsel argued while there is no doubt Lady died that day, what happened to her and how she died remains unanswered.
Fakira-Martin was charged last July after St. Thomas Police received reports from residents in the area of St. Catherine and Meda streets regarding the well-being of a dog.
He pleaded not guilty to charges of injuring an animal on the trial’s opening day, Oct. 7.
Fakira-Martin has always maintained the dog drowned in Kettle Creek near an area known to some as Suicide Hill.


And, a video played in the courtroom Thursday morning appears to portray Lady as a drowning victim alongside her distraught owner.
The cellphone video was shot by Jennifer Curtis, who had been walking her two dogs through Athletic Park and then along the bank of Kettle Creek.

Tarrick Fakira-Martinjpg

Tarrick Fakira-Martin with Lady. (Facebook photo)

She came across a wailing Fakira-Martin who was carrying Lady’s body.
He explained the dog had drowned and he was going to leave the dog by the creek.
While Fakira-Martin went off in search of some items including his shoes, Curtis shot a three-minute video of the location and the body of Lady with apparent signs of trauma.
She convinced him Lady needed to be buried and she accompanied him to his home on St. Catharine Street where he produced a shovel to dig a grave.
Fakira-Martin complained he had an injured hand and it was Curtis who dug the shallow grave near the railway tracks at the end of St. Catharine Street.

Dr. Murray Hazlett

Dr. Murray Hazlett

Dr. Murray Hazlett, a veterinary pathologist at the University of Guelph, documented a half-dozen separate diagnoses including a fractured femur that had healed improperly; older wounds on Lady’s face; bleeding around the kidney; acute bleeding over the skull; fluid and blood in the lungs; and a ruptured liver.
Additionally, Hazlett described the dog as emaciated and showing signs of neglect.
He ruled Lady’s death was likely due to blunt force trauma but was not able to rule out drowning as a possible cause.
In her closing arguments, assistant Crown attorney Vanessa Stewart stressed the issue to decide was the willfulness component.

“The issue is was Lady killed on July 3? There is no doubt she died that day. But how? . . . What happened that day we don’t know.”

Throughout Lady’s life, Stewart stressed there was an “ongoing neglect issue,” which was backed up by Hazeltt’s testimony Lady’s death was the result of blunt force trauma.
“Tarrick wilfully killed the dog,” noted Stewart.
In his submission, defense lawyer William Glover pointed out his client acknowledges there was abuse and neglect.
“That is not the issue,” added Glover.
“The issue is was Lady killed on July 3? There is no doubt she died that day. But how? . . . What happened that day we don’t know.”
He continued, “The conclusion of death is not evident.”
Glover is calling for a lesser charge of permitting unnecessary pain, suffering or injury.
Justice Glen Donald will deliver his decision on Nov. 15.

Related posts:

Day 2 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal

Day 1 in the trial of Tarrick Fakira-Martin, charged with injuring an animal

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