Ellen Goldberg, NBC 5 News
An 18-year-old wanted in the attack on stray puppy Justice surrendered to police Friday night. News of his arrest was announced at a vigil for Justice, which died Sunday of complications from third-degree burns.
Dallas police said Friday night that an 18-year-old wanted in an attack on a puppy that died after it was doused in lighter fluid and set on fire had turned himself in.
News of the arrest came while several hundred North Texans were gathered for a candlelight vigil in memory of the dog, Justice. The master of ceremonies returned to the stage to announce the arrest, and the crowd erupted in cheers.
Justice was burned alive April 2. Dallas police had issued a warrant for the arrest of 18-year-old Darius Ewing. He surrendered to police Friday night.
The dog died Sunday of complications from the third-degree burns that covered 70 percent of his body.
Witnesses told police Ewing doused the dog in lighter fluid and then threw a lit cigarette on him.
The Dallas County district attorney’s office said it was thrilled to announce the arrest during the vigil for Justice.
“The timing was great,” said David Alex, a special prosecutor in the district attorney's office. “Hopefully, a lot of it had to do with the pressure from the community to do the right thing."
Animal cruelty is a felony. If convicted, Ewing faces two to 10 years in prison.