Brick couple avoids jail time in Sammy the dog case

Mar. 18, 2014 8:11 PM
Written by Nicholas Huba

TOMS RIVER — Les Brandt stood outside of Superior Court Judge James Blaney’s courtroom Tuesday afternoon and could not believe what she had just heard.Moments earlier, Blaney overturned the six-month jail sentences of Shauna Kennedy-Morgan and Keith Morgan, the former owners of an abused cocker spaniel named Sammy.

Instead, Blaney sentenced Keith Morgan, 56, to 90 days house arrest with five days of community service and Shauna Kennedy-Morgan, 43, to a year probation with 30 days of community service for their involvement in the animal cruelty case.

“Everything that the judge did was absolutely wrong,’’ the 60-year-old Brandt of Manahawkin said, as she held a photo of the dog. “This sends the wrong message. It sends a message that you can abuse animals and nothing is going to happen to you.’’

The Morgans, who live on Sawmill Road in Brick, were sentenced Nov. 18 to six months in jail by Brick Municipal Court Judge Robert M. LePore.

As Blaney announced the new sentences, the approximately 35 supporters of Sammy inside the court room voiced their displeasure. One lady was asked to leave after making an outburst and another women left the court room audibly cursing about the judge’s ruling.

“This is ridiculous,’’ said Martin Mondoker, 51, of Colts Neck. “This is a disgrace. This judge should be gone.’’

Blaney said Keith Morgan’s health issues, which include diabetes, were a factor in reducing his sentence.

Kevin F. Sheehy, Keith Morgan’s attorney, described Morgan’s life since the incident as a “tortured existence.”

“He’s a social outcast,” Sheehy said. “He can’t leave his home without being harassed, without people threatening him. These are things that aren’t going to end today. They aren’t going to end when his sentence is up.”

Before Blaney announced his decision, Keith Morgan read a statement apologizing to Sammy and his wife. As Morgan read statement, many people in the crowd shook their heads with disdain.

“Sammy was a wonderful dog that didn’t deserve this,’’ Keith Morgan said. “Sammy, I’m sorry. Again I’m sorry for what I have done.”

Last March, Keith Morgan was hailed a hero after he claimed he found the dog in a plastic garbage bag on the side of a road in Wall and took the animal to the Associated Humane Societies shelter in Tinton Falls.

An investigation by the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals led to charges against the Morgans when it was learned the couple owned the dog and had abandoned it.

The cocker spaniel was emaciated, matted and unable to walk, authorities said. Sammy has since been adopted by a family who has remained anonymous.

Victor “Buddy” Amato, the Monmouth County SPCA’s chief law enforcement officer, was visibly disappointed with Blaney’s decision to rescind the jail sentence.

“It is what it is,” Amato said after the hearing.

Video at: http://www.app.com/article/20140318/NJNEWS14/303180034

Advertisements

TODAY!! Morgans’ Appeal Hearing!

lock em up

Please join us if you can TODAY!! Tuesday March 18, 2014,  the appeal hearing of Keith and Shauna Morgan will be held at the Ocean County Superior Court,  120 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ. Sammy’s friends will be gathering to show their support of Sammy and for the decision of Judge LePore to be upheld.

Please see the Facebook event page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/244300905742559/

Check Sammy’s Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sammy-the-cocker-spaniel/552055094835446

JUSTICE 4 SAMMY!!

New pic of Sammy taken last night courtesy of Sammy's Forever Family & Facebook page.

New pic of Sammy taken last night courtesy of Sammy’s Forever Family & Facebook page.

TOMORROW!! March 18, 2014 Morgans’ Appeal Hearing!!

samm 13Tomorrow, Tuesday March 18, 2014,  the appeal hearing of Keith and Shauna Morgan will be held at the Ocean County Superior Court,  120 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ. Sammy’s friends will be gathering to show their support of Sammy and for the decision of Judge LePore to be upheld.

Please see the Facebook event page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/244300905742559/

Another precious picture of Sammy courtesy of his forever family and his Facebook page:

sammy 12

Morgans’ Appeal Hearing March 18, 2014!

2 10 samKeith and Shauna Morgan’s appeal hearings are scheduled for  Tuesday, March 18, at 3 pm at the Ocean County Superior Court, 120 Hooper Avenue, Toms River, NJ. Both will be heard by Judge James Blaney in Courtroom 17 and are open to the public. If you can attend the hearings please see the Facebook event for more information: https://www.facebook.com/events/244300905742559/ Let’s continue to show our support for Sammy!

Ex-owners of Sammy’s appeal to be heard March 18, 2014

Prosecutor Steven Zabarsky presented a compelling argument against the Morgans on behalf of Sammy.

Prosecutor Steven Zabarsky presented a compelling argument against the Morgans on behalf of Sammy.

Mar. 7, 2014
Written by Nicholas Huba

BRICK — The married couple sentenced to six months in jail on animal cruelty charges in connection with Sammy, a cocker spaniel turned over to authorities in a trash bag, will return to court later this month.

Shauna Kennedy-Morgan, 43, and Keith Morgan, 56, will be in Ocean County Superior Court on March 18 to appeal their six-month jail sentence in front of Judge James Blaney. The couple’s was originally scheduled to have separate hearings but now they will be combined. No reason was given for the change, court officials said.

Watch the video to see their sentencing here: http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014303070067

The Morgans, who live on Sawmill Road in Brick, were sentenced Nov. 18 to six months in jail by Brick Municipal Court Judge Robert M. LePore. The couple has remained free during the appeal process.

Martin Mondoker, an administrator for the Sammy the Cocker Spaniel Facebook page, said he was frustrated by the short notice of the changes.

“I get the sense that they don’t want us there but we are planning on being there fighting for the full sentence,’’ said Mondoker, 51, of Colts Neck.

Last March, Keith Morgan at first was hailed a hero after he claimed he found the 17-year-old dog in a plastic garbage bag on the side of a road in Wall and took it to the Associated Humane Societies facility in Tinton Falls.

An investigation by the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals led to charges against the Morgans when it was learned the couple owned the dog and had abandoned it.

The cocker spaniel was emaciated, matted, dehydrated, unable to walk and suffering from burns from sitting in its own feces and urine, authorities said. Sammy has since been adopted by a family, who wish to remain anonymous.

http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014303070067