Public Information Officer Klare Ly announced to Historic City News that Randal Bryan Hart, the 28-year-old St Johns County man accused of stabbing his dog, Amber, and slashing her throat with a knife before dragging her into the woods to die, will be back in court Wednesday afternoon.
Hart, who was represented by an attorney from the office of the Public Defender, has now hired a defense attorney, Jeremiah Mulligan, to defend him. Hart says that he wants to withdraw his guilty plea.
At 2:00 p.m. in Courtroom 316 on Wednesday, April 3, Hart will appear with counsel before Judge Michael Traynor for a hearing on his motion to withdraw the previous guilty plea.
Hart is charged with Cruelty to Animals, a third-degree felony, which occurred during the night of January 13, 2013.
It took officers about 45 minutes of searching to locate the dog in a grassy area near the home. The dog was in obvious distress, but still alive. An Animal Control Officer transported the dog to the veterinarian. Deputy Dan Sorrells was one of the deputies who responded to the call. After surgery, Sorrells and his family adopted the dog that Historic City News readers now follow on her facebook page.