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Judicial CP - June 1963

Muncie Star, Indiana, 11 June 1963

Still Suffering From Burns

Local Veterinarian Treating Puppy

A small puppy, splashed with gasoline and set on fire by a filling station attendant last week, is now being cared for at the Veterinary Clinic by Dr. Norman Miller.

Mrs. George Brown, a member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was called to a residence near McGalliard Road Monday afternoon to pick up the puppy, which is still suffering from serious burns.

A woman in the vicinity had tried to feed the dog, but it was still unable to take food or milk. Mrs. Brown was called and took the puppy to the clinic.

Franklin D. Campbell, 20, 426 E. Andover Ave., admitted Thursday to sheriff's deputies he set the dog on fire. Campbell is scheduled to appear in City Court Wednesday night on a charge of cruelty to animals.

Corpun file 0537 at

Muncie Star, Indiana, 13 June 1963

Court orders twenty lashes

Youth Who Set Fire to Dog Punished in Court Chamber

By Max Jones


Sudden justice was meted out in City Court Wednesday night.

The sentence was 20 lashes, pants down!

Spectators heard the sound of leather against skin coming from the judge's chamber as Court Bailiff Jack Young applied a part of the sentence ordered by Judge Walter G. Tanner for a 20-year-old Muncie youth who admitted pouring gasoline on a puppy and setting it afire.


Judge Tanner has ordered a whipping for a City Court defendant in the past, but it was administered by a relative of the guilty party.

State Attorney General Edwin K. Steers, contacted at Indianapolis by newsmen Wednesday night on the legality of Judge Tanner's order, said there is a constitutional provision to prevent the application of "harsh or unreasonable punishment".

Steers said, "If the judge has ordered this, there's nothing I can do at present." He added that his staff has been doing research on the question of court-ordered whippings, but had not arrived at a final decision.

Campbell after his whipping TWENTY LASHES LATER -- Franklin D. Campbell, 20, is shown being led from Muncie City Court by Patrolman Mann Tabor after receiving 20 lashes with a policeman's belt when he pleaded guilty in court to pouring gasoline on a puppy and setting it afire.


Chicago Tribune, 14 June 1963

He Sets Fire to Pup; Gets 20 Lashes

Muncie, Ind., June 13 (special) -- For setting a stray puppy afire, Franklin Campbell, 20, not only was in jail today but was still wincing from 20 lashes with a policemen's belt laid on his buttocks in City court.

"I think you need to be humbled," Judge Walter G. Tanner told Campbell, a filling station attendant, last night in ordering the whipping along with a 10 day jail sentence and other penalties.

The pants-down thrashing was severe enough that after it had been administered and Campbell had been sent to jail, he complained of pain and was taken to Ball Memorial Hospital. But he was returned to his cell after an examination which jail attaches said showed no serious injury.

Crowd "Wants to Hear It"

As he was being led into the judge's chamber, where a bailiff delivered the lashes, members of a generally approving courtroom audience yelled: "We want to hear it out here." The judge threatened to clear the courtroom, but the dog lovers got their wish -- the sound of the blows was plainly audible to them.

Campbell was charged with dousing the mutt puppy with gasoline and touching a match to it. He at first contended that it was an accident but later admitted doing it intentionally because the dog, he said, had bothered his chickens.

Says He's Sorry

He pleaded guilty to a charge of cruelty to animals. Asked if he had anything to say about the unusual deed, Campbell said he was sorry but the judge observed, "That doesn't help the puppy."

The judge said he had considered giving Campbell "the full penalty this court is allowed to hand down," a 60-day jail sentence and $200 fine, but decided to order the whipping because "you need to be humbled."

However, he also sentenced Campbell to 60 days in jail with 50 of the days suspended, fined him $100 which was also suspended, and ordered that after he serves his 10-day jail term he must walk the 6 miles daily from his home to a veterinary hospital as long as the dog is being treated there. And if the dog dies, the judge ruled, Campbell must bury it.

Warns Mother

"Maybe you'll learn by living with the situation," the judge said.

At the hearing, the judge threatened Campbell's mother with contempt of court when she protested the sentence, and he ordered Campbell's 14-year-old twin brothers held for juvenile authorities.

The judge was advised by investigators that neighbor children, who had witnessed the dog burning, were afraid to come to court because the twin brothers threatened them that "if you squeal, we'll take care of you."

Muncie Evening Press, Indiana, 17 June 1963

Business Has Suffered

Employer of Dog Burner Says Youth Still Has a Job

The employer of Franklin D. Campbell, who pleaded guilty last week to setting fire to a dog, believes his business may be suffering as a result of the incident.

Hubert H. Birt, owner of Birt's Standard Service, Walnut and McGalliard, feels some of his customers may be deserting him because of something with which he had nothing to do.

He says his business fell off noticeably last week. On Saturday he did only about $200 worth of business against a normal Saturday volume of $500.

Birt emphasized that the puppy burning incident did not happen at the station; it took place at Campbell's home.

"If he had done that at the station I would have fired him on the spot," Birt said.

However, he does not intend turning his back on Campbell, he says.

"I don't believe in pushing a man further down when he is already down. If the good Lord is willing, I am going to put him back to work when he gets out of jail."

Detroiter asked about incident

Campbell, who was given the Judge Walter Tanner version of the old British Navy punishment of "rump and dozen" or "caning on the breach," is also serving a 10-day jail sentence.

The incident has apparently become somewhat of a cause celebre.

Birt said a motorist from Detroit stopped in the station Saturday seeking directions to Ball State College and asked him, "Is this the station where the boy burned the dog?"

Birt was highly laudatory of Campbell as an employee.

"The boy has worked for me for 13 months and has always treated me fair and square. I've trusted him with as much as $2,000".

He said Campbell was remorseful about what he did to the dog and told him prior to his arrest that he had done something for which he would be sorry for the rest of his life.

Birt denounces corporal punishment

Birt said he advised Campbell to plead guilty and take his punishment. But he wouldn't have done it, he added, if he had known Campbell was to be whipped.

"I don't believe in that kind of punishment and helped fight a war against it," he said.


Muncie Star, Indiana, 18 June 1963

Letters Pour In

Burned Pup May Make It, Says Veterinarian

By Larry Shores


"She's coming along better and I believe she's going to make it."

Those were the words of Dr. N.R. Miller, of the Maplewood Animal Clinic, when he was asked Monday about the condition of the young puppy set on fire recently by a 20-year-old filling station attendant.

The youth was sentenced to "twenty lashes, pants down," when he pleaded guilty to a charge of cruelty to animals in City Court. The punishment was administered by the court bailiff, Jack Young.

Dr. Miller said the dog is eating well and that the injured tissue is beginning to fill in around her left hind leg.

Miller said he and several other persons involved in the dog's fight for survival have received correspondence from all over the country asking about the dog's condition.

Gets Many Offers

Mrs. George Brown, of the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said she has received numerous calls and letters from persons wishing to "adopt" the puppy if she recovers.

"A man from Brown Summit, N.C., even offered to pay airplane shipping expenses to have her sent to his home," Mrs. Brown declared. "He said he wanted to try and make up for the mistreatment the dog has received."


Judge Walter G. Tanner, who passed sentence on the youthful offender has been kept busy answering mail of his own.

Tanner received 87 letters and nine post cards on Monday alone to add to the staggering stack of more than 200 which had piled up already.

Last Friday he received a cablegram from Perth, Australia, which read, "Bravos and Salutations!" and was signed by Victor Borge, the famed Danish comedian.

Monday's letters included postmarks from such far-away places as Toronto, Ont. and even Southampton, Eng. -- the latter carrying five neatly-placed stamps bearing the likeness of Queen Elizabeth.

But Tanner's favorite, and the one which he says sums up the situation best, was from a man in Chula Vista, Calif. The letter congratulated the judge for his stiff penalty to the defendant and then concluded: "I thought the last angry man was fictional. Wrong again!"

Muncie Evening Press, Indiana, 20 June 1963

Spunky Is "Better Than Expected"

Spunky may be a healthy dog again some day, Dr. N.R. Miller of the Mapelwood Animal Shelter, 703 Granville Ave., said today.

He cautioned, however, that recovery will take time due to the nature of the dog's injuries. Spunky was badly burned several days ago when a 20-year-old man poured gasoline on him and touched a match to the dog.

Dr. Miller said the animal is "coming along pretty good, and doing much better than had been expected."

That Spunky's plight is world-wide news was evidenced when Mrs. Roxie Poore, 2213 S. Vine St., received a letter from her daughter, Mrs. Junior Hicks in Tokyo, Japan.

The Japanese newspaper carried an account of the incident, together with a picture of Franklin D. Campbell. [...]

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