HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Animal cruelty charges against a Hampton sheriff’s deputy and her husband were set aside Monday, according to court records.
Carolyn Johnson, who had been charged with eight counts of failure to provide duties of ownership, and eight counts of animal cruelty — all misdemeanors — were nolle prossed in Hampton General District Court.
The charges against Johnson’s husband, Michael Johnson — eight counts each of animal cruelty and failure to provide duties of ownership, and four counts of dogfighting, two of which are felonies — were also nolle prossed.
In cases that are nolle prossed, the charges could be brought back at a later date.
Carolyn Johnson was placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.
Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office took over the animal cruelty case, as his Animal Law Unit had been appointed as a special prosecutor.
The investigation centered around conditions at a home on Ireland Street near Phoebus High School. A criminal complaint indicated an animal cruelty call prompted Hampton Animal Response Team officers to check out the Hampton home. After getting a search warrant, officers found four pit bulls and four pit bull puppies in poor condition, court documents stated.