Dog ownership and experiences were at the forefront of questions during jury selection Monday ahead of an aggravated animal cruelty trial.
Dewayne Steven Motes, Matthew Steven Motes and Nicholas Dewayne Motes, all of Gainesville, were charged in a February 2016 indictment with aggravated animal cruelty and aggravated assault among other charges.
The three were accused in July 2015 “individually and as parties to the crime and co-conspirators” in the shooting death of a neighbor’s bullmastiff, according to the indictment.
A Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputy testified in August 2015 the incident started after the dog reportedly bit Dewayne Motes.
Separate juries were selected for Matthew and Dewayne Motes, with Matthew’s case going first. A jury has not been paneled for Nicholas Motes.
During jury selection, the attorneys asked questions about jurors owning dogs and any negative experiences.
Nicholas Motes’ attorney Matt Leipold declined to comment.
Matthew Motes’ attorney Clinton Teston did not return a request for comment after hours.
Dewayne Motes’ attorney Tom Csider said the evidence at trial would show his client was not guilty of the charges.
Jurors will return today for opening statements in Superior Court Judge Andrew Fuller’s courtroom.