(FOX 2) - Two people went before a judge Thursday after 17 starving dogs were found inside their hot truck last year.
Police say the dogs were found emaciated inside the truck in Ecorse and that some of them were stolen.
The preliminary exam was held for 42-year-old ex-con David McMurtrie and 29-year-old Kayli Sparks, both facing several charges including abandonment and cruelty to 10 or more animals. The driver has also been charged.
Attorney: "Do you know whether or not the dog received these fresh wounds in your care?"
Sparks: "I believe she had them when she came off of the truck."
Attorney: "But you don't recall?"
Prosecutors say McMurtrie and Sparks had been running the rescue Pit Stop for Change out of River Rouge.
McMurtrie is accused of sending dogs back to Michigan from Louisiana in the back of a Penske truck in May of 2018. The dogs were discovered without food or water in a driveway in Ecorse with temperatures in the mid-80s.
On Thursday an animal shelter employee and a Wayne County Sheriff detective both testified.
Attorney: "How many dogs do you recall?"
Police officer: "There were a lot of dogs in there, I don't recall how many were loose and roaming about the premises in there."
Prosecutors say at least three of the dogs had been stolen from another rescue and had been in that hot truck for roughly 14 hours.
The dogs were later taken to Detroit Dog Rescue to be cared for. But the defense previously argued that McMurtrie had no idea the dogs were in the truck, accusing one witness of changing her story.
"She is deliberately playing games with the evidence," said Danielle Cadoret, defense attorney. "When there's two people's freedom at stake."
The defense also argued that there's no proof of where the wounds on the dogs came from and accused the prosecution of misconduct.
The preliminary hearing is set to continue next week.