Mistrial for Knox man charged with dragging dog behind truck

Mistrial for Knoxville man charged with dragging dog behind truck

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Jimmy Lovell on the witness stand Jimmy Lovell on the witness stand

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The case against Jimmy Lovell, who is accused of dragging a dog with his truck for a mile on a Knoxville street, ended Wednesday in a mistrial.

The jurors told Judge Bob McGee they were hung and more deliberations wouldn't help.

The judge set a new trial date of August 7.

On Wednesday morning, Lovell told jurors his side of what happened. He's charged with felony animal cruelty.

Prosecutor Debbie Malone told jurors Tuesday Lovell dragged a terrier mix dog, now known as Little Brown Dog (LBD), while she was tied behind his pickup truck.

Malone called the dog's injuries "horrific."

Lovell told jurors he has a history of head injuries and trauma, and that his memory "comes and goes."

He said he had kept the dog in his home only a day and a half before the incident.

On that day, Lovell said he had been helping a friend by working on the friend's car radiator.

Lovell said the dog was tied to his truck's trailer hitch. Later, he failed to see the dog still tied to the truck, and he didn't hear the dog because his truck radio was playing.

As the state presented its case Tuesday, witnesses testified that they tried to get Lovell to stop.

Lovell's friend, Asa Hobbs, also testified for the defense Wednesday. He said he never saw Lovell hurt an animal.

Lovell can't read or write, Hobbs said, but he's a very crafty mechanic.

Neither Lovell nor Hobbs could remember the dog's leash on the hitch ball for the truck before the dragging.

The defense rested after Hobbs' testimony.

In closing arguments, Malone said actions speak louder than words. "The throwing (the dog) in the passenger side, the not taking it to get medical care. Witnesses say he drove around with that dog almost an hour. Witnesses saw him driving around with the dog almost an hour later. The dog is still in the passenger side. Remember his actions."

But Whalen argued that Lovell had no intent to hurt the dog. "What if it's an accident, and it dawns on him and he pulls over there to stop? Is that an action that means he intended to do what had already happened? You can't say that," he told the jury.

"It was an accident," Lovell said after the mistrial was declared. "I'm sorry it happened."

University of Tennessee veterinarians say the dog has made amazing progress to recover after they initially thought she would not survive.

Little Brown Dog now lives with one of the doctors from UT Veterinary School.

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