Judge scolds attorney in case of dogs found in hot moving truck

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Court emotions ran high Monday during testimony for two people facing charges for dogs found in the back of a sweltering moving truck last year.

Nearly 20 dogs - some stolen - were found in the Penske truck without food or water, leading to charges for ex-con David McMurtrie, 42 and Kayli Sparks, 29. The two are both facing several charges including abandonment and cruelty to 10 or more animals. The driver of the truck has also been charged.

Prosecutors say McMurtrie and Sparks had been running the rescue Pit Stop for Change out of River Rouge, saying McMurtrie sent dogs back to Michigan from Louisiana in the back of a truck in May of 2018. 

That's when the dogs were discovered in a driveway in Ecorse in a hot truck, some allegedly injured.

Defense attorneys have argued that there's no evidence of where the wounds on the dogs came from and accused the prosecution of misconduct.

The accusations continued Monday as defense attorneys accused continued to accuse the prosecutor as the preliminary examination continued.

"Maybe you don't work there either, Barbara," said defense attorney Danielle Cadoret sniped at the assistant prosecutor. 

"Stop," said Judge David Zelenak. "Do that again, I will find you in contempt of court for attacking an opposing attorney."

17 dogs found in sweltering hot truck in Ecorse
Attorney: Dog rescue owner didn't know they were in hot truck 14 hours
3 charged with animal abuse of caged dogs left inside Ecorse truck
Police: Some dogs found in hot moving truck in Ecorse were stolen

But tensions at the hearing escalated.

"I can't be an effective assistant to counsel to my client if the prosecutor wants to play games with discovery every time we come here," Cadoret said.

As defense and prosecuting attorneys work to gather more information, the next court day is set for August 5.