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High-profile case on hold due to battle at Oklahoma County Courthouse

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A high-profile criminal case is now on hold because of an ongoing battle at the Oklahoma County Courthouse.

In May of 2017, police and paramedics were called to a northwest Oklahoma City neighborhood following a vicious dog attack.

Authorities say 82-year-old Cecille Short and her dog were killed when they were mauled by two large dogs near N.W. 122nd and Council Rd.

Cecille Short, 82, cropped photo from Facebook

The owner of the dogs, Antwon Burks, was charged with second-degree manslaughter.

Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater told News 4 that there is a specific statute regarding vicious animals in Oklahoma. Therefore, he says manslaughter was the only charge that fit the alleged crime.

The probable cause affidavit states that detectives noticed a large hole in the gate at Burks’ home where the dogs likely escaped.

“The hole was old damage and appeared as if someone had tried to cover the hole with old wood, a recycling container, and ice chest. The attempt to cover the hole did not appear to be sufficient to keep two dogs of this size contained,” the affidavit reads.

Antwon Burks

Even though it has been more than two years since the attack, attorneys tell News 4 that the case isn’t headed to court just yet.

Recently, there has been a battle between District Attorney David Prater and Oklahoma County Judge Kendra Coleman, who is supposed to preside over the case.

Prater asked Coleman to recuse herself from the case, saying that Burks’ attorney donated to Coleman’s campaign. However, she refused to step down from the trial.

Burks’ attorney told News 4 that although he was scheduled to go to court on Thursday, they won’t go to trial until Prater’s recusal efforts against Coleman are resolved.

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