Puppies Apparently Thrown Off Bridge to Their Deaths Deserve Justice

Target: Todd Gardenhire, Chair of Tennessee Senate Committee on the Judiciary

Goal: End unjust grand jury process that seemingly favors criminals over both human and non-human crime victims.

National Pet Day is a celebration of the animals that become beloved members of families, but it’s also a stark reminder of the millions of unwanted animals that become victims of abuse, neglect, or abandonment. The latter, an often underreported and forgotten offense, allegedly played out to a tragic end in Tennessee. A tote was discovered near a bridge. Inside this bag, which had apparently been tossed from the bridge, were six puppies. Only one was alive. It is believed the young pups may have met their grim fate on Christmas Day.

A 24-year-old suspect, Tyler Underwood, was eventually apprehended and could have been charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty. The suspect also apparently faced accusations of theft and probation violation. Despite these alleged crimes, this suspect will not only be free from any potential punishment. He will not even have a trial.

Underwood was not indicted by a Tennessee grand jury, which sets a notoriously high bar for indictments. In the majority of states, a grand jury is not even needed to bring formal criminal charges. And in the states where the grand jury process is required, most set the bar for indictment at a majority. In Tennessee’s case, however, if only two of the 13 jurors dissent then the charges will not move forward. As a result, Underwood, like so many other potential defendants—especially in low-priority cases like animal cruelty—never has to answer for the offenses of which he is accused.

Sign the petition below to demand this state’s lawmakers amend a process that works against victims and survivors of violent crimes.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Gardenhire,

“A grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.” Tennessee proves that not all old adages have a ring of truth. Recently, two dissenters in a Morgan County grand jury spared a man accused of throwing weeks-old puppies off a bridge to their deaths from criminal charges. The man in question is also reportedly under investigation for other crimes, but now he is apparently free and in the clear.

Why is the bar set higher in this state for victims and survivors to get justice than almost anywhere else in the country? The grand jury process does not end with a conviction or a sentence. It is a formal bringing of charges. The standards for an indictment are therefore much less rigorous than the unanimous consent required for a traditional jury…except in Tennessee, where two dissenters (just like in the aforementioned case) can grind the wheels of justice to a halt.

Please reevaluate and revise this defective portion of Tennessee’s criminal system so that the scales of justice are truly balanced for all.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Sergio Souza


132 Comments

  1. WHAT WOULD THAT MONSTER- THIS IS NOT A HUMAN BEING – SAY IF WE THROW HIS NEWBORN BABY IN THE BIG SEA?????

  2. A lifetime ban is needed: from owning, caring for, possessing, and from residing in any house where ANY animal is present.
    He needs to forfeit any animals currently in his possession, and also pay back costs for all veterinary care if applicable. Let’s be serious about saving animals’ lives. Thank you.

  3. In order to end this rampant ignorance in humankind, this will never end. Especially as long as there is no punishment for the crimes. Crimes MUST be punished, whether it be against human or animal!!

  4. Death penalty for bastard killer,motherfucker, justice for puppies!

  5. What a pos of doing that to them puppies same goes for the law. I assume he won’t be let out if it was human babies being tossed off the the bridge animals are cuter and smarter than humans babies. Smh!!!

    • Have to agree. Animals are the best. This pos needs to be thrown off a bridge… except maybe he won’t make it out alive. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  6. Christine Hornsleth says:

    Once again Tennessee looks like a state full of nothing but hillbillies. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Tennesseans are heathens, barbaric monsters to not even give a damn. Well you’re assuring the country is looking at you in disgust. I won’t list the things all these other posts say that are true. Because I have given up on Tennessee ever changing or caring about anything but owning the libs. You’re all a bunch of toddlers.

  7. Maureen Kelly says:

    I am a firm believer in an eye for an eye. Tie this piece of crap up, stuff him in a bag and throw his shitty ass off a bridge!!!!

  8. Sherry Abela says:

    Do something!!! Animal abuse will continue in your state if you do absolutely nothing to stop it. This man killed 5 innocent baby puppies. If he is guilty of this crime then he should be convicted and receive the harshest punishment that the law will allow. He should have any other pets removed from his home and he should never be allowed to own another animal!!!

  9. SHAME TENNESSEE,SHAME senatore Gardenhire. YOU ARE NOT HUMAN, YOU ARE MONSTER

  10. Michelle Stewart says:

    I hope a bunch of people find that bastard and throw him off a really tall bridge killing him.

  11. Cheryl+Miller says:

    Get this loser killer in jail!!!! How could you let this sicko go??? How??? Those poor poor innocent puppies!!! This is extremely sad and unfair!!!

  12. Tyler Underwood, a suspect, should’ve undergone way more scrutiny — CRIMES against Animals must be taken seriously — depraved & cruel disregard for Animals by SICKO-Underwood should’ve been met with scathing rejection — the unconscionable immorality involved in such acts boggles my mind — Do NOT let the IDIOTS get away these crimes — they WILL REPEAT & it will be WORSE.

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