BLACK LABRADOR SAVES MAN FROM 50-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE
Joshua Horner is a plumber from Redmond, a town in Central Oregon. A jury convicted Horner of sexual abuse of a minor on April 12, 2017 and sentenced him to a 50-year prison sentence. But now, Horner is free after the appearance of a black Labrador named Lucy. So how is it that the appearance of a Labrador is enough to free a man in prison for sexual abuse of a minor? Well, it’s not unusual for suspects to claim that they are innocent. And when there is nothing to collaborate their story, they usually end up in prison. Of course, for us that should mean we can rest assured that justice has been served and we are the safer for it. But what about when justice is NOT served and the innocent are punished? We call that a travesty.
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“VICTIM” CLAIMED HE SHOT AND KILLED HER BLACK LABRADOR, LUCY
Horner had been serving his 50-year sentence for six months when he asked the Oregon Innocence Project for help. He maintained that he was innocent. But in fact, the jury that convicted him wasn’t even unanimous. So even some of the jurors thought he might be innocent. Well, at least they had a reasonable doubt. So the alleged “victim” in this case attested that Horner said he would shoot all of her animals if she told anyone about the alleged sex abuse. But she said she saw him shoot and kill her Labrador dog Lucy to prove his threat. Well, it appears that never happened. Horner never shot Lucy.
OREGON INNOCENCE PROJECT VOLUNTEER FOUND LUCY IN ANOTHER TOWN
So the Oregon Innocence Project agreed to help and they took his case. But even more, the Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel decided to work with them as well. Besides not being a sexual abuser, Horner also said that he never shot and killed the “victim’s” dog. But if he never shot Lucy, then where was she? Well, an Innocence Project volunteer eventually found Lucy in a totally different town in Oregon, Gearhart. So if Horner never shot and killed the black Labrador Lucy, what else did the alleged victim lie about? Maybe everything? That’s what concerned Hummel who then told a court ha was no longer convinced Horner was guilty.
CONVICTION REVERSED, AS ORIGINAL TRIAL NOW SEEMS FULL OF FLAWS
But last August, an Oregon court of appeals reversed Horner’s conviction and ordered a new trial. It seems his original defense wasn’t allowed to present even more evidence. But now we know Lucy is alive, Horner won’t have to face that second trial. He’s free. So far, we have no idea why this “victim” had created this story that upended an innocent man’s life. But since she’s a minor, she will likely never have to explain. Doesn’t that seem unfair?