Retrial delayed for brothers accused of burning dog Phoenix

The retrial of twin brothers accused of setting a pit bull on fire in 2009 has been postponed until November.

The brothers' second trial had been scheduled to start today but was postponed without explanation until Nov. 18.

Travers and Tremayne Johnson were 17 when they were accused of burning a female pit bull, later nicknamed Phoenix, so badly on May 27, 2009, that the dog had to be euthanized. The case revived attention on animal abuse in Baltimore and provoked outrage from animal-welfare advocates.

In the first trial, prosecutors failed to secure a guilty verdict after a single juror rejected the evidence against the Johnsons, resulting in a hung jury.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake established an anti-animal abuse task force. Then-Mayor Sheila Dixon formed the task force and Rawlings-Blake later turned it into a standing commission. The Sun regrets the error.

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