On April 12, 2017, a plumber names Joshua Horner from Redmond Oregon was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor. During the trial of the case, the victim testified that the accused Horner threatened her by saying that he will shoot her dog if she goes to the police and complains about the alleged sexual assault. Further, she claimed that she saw Horner shoot her dog, killing it as a proof of his threat.
Well, the court convicted Joshua Horner and sentenced him with 50-year prison service for the crime that he committed. However, while the Oregon man was serving his sentence, shocking developments happened in the case. After six months of the verdict in which he was pronounced guilty, Joshua sought the help of the Oregon Innocent Project for help and the group researched into the case.
Reportedly, Horner claimed that he never shot the dog and requested the group to find it to prove his innocence. The team started their research for the black Labrador named Lucy. The legal director of Oregon Innocence Project, Steve Wax said:
“We made a couple of trips around Deschutes County, but he was not there. We then heard he was in Seattle.”
Fortunately, after repeated searches, Lucy was found by the group in the town of Gearhart, northwest of Portland. The dog being alive proved that the complainant had been lying during her testimony in front of the district court. The district attorney said:
“Lucy the dog was not shot. Lucy the dog is alive and well.”
Upon knowing the truth, Deschutes County Judge Michael Adler dismissed the case and dropped all charges against Oregon man. While thanking everyone, Horner said,
“Kelli and I are ready to pick up the pieces of our lives.”
Horner had walked out of the state prison on Aug 3 after the Oregon Court of Appeals reversed his conviction and ordered a new trial. The appeals court said the defense had not been allowed to present certain evidence that was unrelated to the dog. Oregon Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of the Oregon man and he walked free outside the court.
Furthermore, after Lucy the dog was found, the minor complainant failed to attend the meeting to discuss her testimony.