People at the courtroom wore shirts that said "Justice for Sammy." A New York woman was escorted from the Brick Municipal Court Monday after she yelled in the courtroom at a man authorities charge abused his dog.
Sammy was brought to the Monmouth County Animal Shelter by Keith Morgan, 56, of Brick, who told staff that he and his wife, Shauna Ewing Morgan, 43, found the dog in a garbage bag on the side of Belmar Boulevard in Wall.
But authorities later said an investigation showed the couple owned the dog, who was covered in feces and urine and encased in its own matted fur, unable to walk.
Morgan, 56, faces charges of animal cruelty for failing to provide proper grooming and veterinary care for Sammy; unnecessary cruelty for allowing Sammy to sit in his own urine and feces, causing burns on his skin, and interfering with an officer for providing misleading information during the course of the investigation. Morgan also faces charges from Tinton Falls of abandoning a sick or maimed animal at the humane society and filing a false police report for claiming they found Sammy in a garbage bag by the side of the road.
Shauna Ewing Morgan, 43, faces charges from Tinton Falls of abandoning a sick or maimed animal at the humane society, and charges from Brick of failure to provide proper grooming and veterinary care and unnecessary cruelty for allowing Sammy to sit in his own urine and feces.
The case was adjourned until next month, as an attorney representing Morgan noted more time for discovery was needed. A pretrial conference was tentatively scheduled for one of the last weeks in August, and a trial is expected in September.
As the couple were leaving the courtroom, Sharon Schettine of New York yelled at Morgan - "go kill yourself." Judge Robert M. LePore, who had previously warned those in attendance to maintain order, ordered her removed from the courtroom. He then made a remark acknowledging that "this is an emotional issue .. but you have to keep your emotions in check."
She told Patch after being escorted from the courtroom that she was angry that the matter was "put off" another month, adding, "what other evidence are they going to produce?"
The couple faces a minimum of six months in jail if convicted.
Less than a month after he was brought to the hospital, Sammy walked out of the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital on his own, a social media post from the hospital said last month. He is now in a new home.