During a federal civil court trial in which Austin Flake and his now-ex wife Logan Brown were suing the taxpayers of Maricopa County for $8 million in a malicious prosecution case, their attempts to play on the sympathies of the jurors fell flat with Thursday’s verdict.
The duo were the caretakers for nearly two dozen dogs who died excruciating heat related deaths at a Gilbert kennel owned by Brown’s vacationing parents. They claimed former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio brought charges against them in order to embarrass Flake’s father, Sen. Jeff Flake — so out of step with Arizona Republicans, he does a fine job of discrediting himself without any outside assist. Papa Flake’s polling numbers sunk so low that he has opted not to seek reelection. After writing a 140-page anti-Trump diatribe masquerading as a book and with a title stolen from Barry Goldwater‘s iconic, “Conscience of a Conservative,” he was unable to resuscitate his career. Arizona is not the place to deride Pres. Trump. He won Arizona’s GOP primary by more than 20 percentage points before carrying the state in the general election. Among the president’s most ardent supporters, the feeling of betrayal is particularly intense.
After a six-day trial, the jury was unmoved by Flake and Brown’s claims of fear, distrust of the criminal justice system and depression requiring therapy and medication, resulting in “bickering” that ended their marriage. Austin Flake testified that he was forced to quit BYU until the matter was resolved — and gasp! — he had to get a job. Jurors refused to award them damages in the animal cruelty case that riveted Valley residents in 2014. The shocking account revolved around the boarded dogs being locked in a small utility room, without food, water or cooling in the scorching summer heat. After initially alleging the dogs bit through the electrical wires, they later claimed the air-conditioning unit malfunctioned. A Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted the Flake’s and Logan’s parents Todd and MaLeisa Hughes.
After the divorce, whiney Austin testified he got a dog for emotional support. Had he won, the millions of dollars the twosome originally claimed they deserved, the greenbacks would not have licked his face, but would likely have calmed him considerably.
Deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office found dead dogs piled like cordwood in a nearby shed after the couple’s crude attempts to revive the still dying pets with a garden hose failed. Austin and Logan admitted they never called a veterinarian, when they first saw the horrific condition of the family pets left in what their owners believed was optimum care.
Seeing Red AZ wrote numerous accounts of the then-ongoing saga that took unexpected twists and turns, exemplified by Logan’s mother and stepfather who were not even in the state at the time of the atrocity serving 23 days jail time. This single post provides a broad overview.