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Posted on Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Charges dismissed against man accused of selling puppy for dogfighting

By John Counts

The case against an Ypsilanti Township man accused of selling a pit bull puppy for dogfighting purposes to undercover officers was dismissed in the Washtenaw County Trial Court Monday.

The prosecution made the motion to drop the charges against 28-year-old Gayland Tomlin.

“The people are not going to be in a position to proceed with this case,” said Assistant Washtenaw County Prosecutor Paul Barnett.

It was revealed to the prosecution last month that a recording of the exchange between undercover officers and Tomlin accidentally had been destroyed by an information technology specialist at the Humane Society of Huron Valley.

Last week, Judge Melinda Morris said she wouldn’t allow testimony in a trial about the contents of the recording.

Tomlin didn’t hide his happiness in the courtroom.

“I’d like to thank all the people who supported me,” he told AnnArbor.com, adding people should “think twice about jumping to conclusions about a person.”

Tomlin said he was innocent of the charges and he was not trying to sell the puppy for dogfighting purposes.

AnnArbor.com previously reported that Tomlin was accused of trying to sell a pit bull puppy for dogfighting to two undercover officers with the Humane Society and the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office last winter. The destroyed recording was of that transaction. When the Humane Society officer wanted to boost the sound quality, the recording was given to someone at her agency as opposed to the sheriff’s office.

When the technician got the disc, he didn’t see a file on it and threw it in the trash.

John Counts covers cops and courts for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached at johncounts@annarbor.com or you can follow him on Twitter.

Comments

Elena

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

The Humane Society of Huron Valley is the best around. I especially appreciate the hard work of the Cruelty team. They probably already know this because hindsight is 20/20, but next time make a copy of any evidence before releasing it to anybody. Again, thank you for what you do on behalf of animals.

Thoughtful

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 1:27 p.m.

Be a man Gaylin Tomlin. Get a job!

nickcarraweigh

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

It doesn't seem the prosecution had much choice but to throw in the towel in the face of such wrong-headed police practices. The lost tape was only the tip of the iceberg, really. More importantly, who captains the investigative ship in the first place? Is it the sheriffs department, which gets paid to do it, or is it the Humane Society's version of Johnny Danger, dog investigator? Dog fighting is repulsive, but even worse is when leaderless incompetence by investigators allows it to flourish.

Brad

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

Sorry your honor - a dog ate our evidence.

HB11

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 11:55 a.m.

"I'd like to thank all the people who supported me," he told AnnArbor.com, adding people should "think twice about jumping to conclusions about a person." Oh, I'll jump.

Billy

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

Also.....um......you didn't just pass around the sole piece of evidence that the case hinged on without making a backup of it....did you?

Billy Bob Schwartz

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 4:16 p.m.

Nobody is that dumb. D'ya think?

Billy

Wed, Aug 29, 2012 : 11:28 a.m.

"accidentally had been destroyed by an information technology specialist at the Humane Society of Huron Valley." They weren't much of a "specialist" if they accidentally destroyed it...just sayin'