A man bitten by a neighbor’s bullmastiff started two fights leading to the dog’s death, a deputy testified Monday.
Dwayne Motes, 52, and his sons Nicholas, 28, and Matthew, 27, faced charges in Magistrate Court Monday morning including cruelty to animals, battery and reckless conduct after an alleged fight on July 26.
Dwayne Motes’ case was moved on to Superior Court because his attorney did not appear for the probable cause hearing. Matthew Motes elected to waive the hearing and had his case moved on to Superior Court.
Nicholas Motes, however, had his case heard Monday.
Hall County Sheriff’s Office Deputy John Galloway testified that he responded to a fight July 26 on Benson Drive in Gainesville. The fight was broken up, and Galloway left after doing some investigation.
The initial reason for the fight, Galloway said, was a conflict between Dwayne Motes and neighbor Charles Speer’s dog. The elder Motes said the dog had bitten him, Galloway said.
“Mr. Speer was telling me that he came out to Dwayne assaulting his dog,” he said.
Roughly 10 minutes later, Galloway was dispatched to a fight in the same area where multiple gunshots had been fired.
Upon arrival, Galloway found the backseat window on the driver’s side of Speer’s car was shot. Speer also looked as if he had been beaten and his eyes were swollen, Galloway said.
“(Speer) kept saying, ‘They shot my dog. They killed my dog’,” Galloway said.
Speer told law enforcement that Dwayne Motes and two men he didn’t recognize returned to Speer’s residence after the first fight.
“From my understanding, they all got out of the vehicle,” Galloway said. “The father and one of the sons actually assaulted him in the front yard, with the third actually firing off shots.”
At least four shots were fired from a .22 caliber rifle, Galloway said.
A truck leaving the area at the time of the call was stopped. All three Motes men were in the vehicle, Galloway said, and a .22 rifle was recovered.
Nicholas Motes’ public defender Larry Duttweiler asked for any witness testimony from Galloway that put his client at the scene participating in the alleged assault.
“You understand that people need to be more than merely present to be guilty of a crime, right?,” Duttweiler asked Galloway.
Galloway testified he did not see the assault, and no other witnesses testified at the probable cause hearing.
“I would suggest we continue the case to get a witness who can tell us whether or not either one of these people were there,” Duttweiler said in a motion to Magistrate Court Judge Tracy Loggins.
Loggins denied the motion to postpone the case and sent on most of Nicholas Motes’ charges to Superior Court.
“It appears there was participation before, participation after,” the judge said. “There were people that attacked Mr. Speer. It seems as if they were working in concert or together to do that.”
Loggins dismissed the shooting across the roadway charge, as she deemed there was no evidence to support the charge.