The custody battle over a beloved Chihuahua made its way to an Upstate courtroom Thursday morning.
A magistrate court judge in Liberty presided over the bench trial in the case between two Easley families, the Blantons and the Watsons, and eventually dismissed the case.
The Blantons said they lost their beloved Lucy when she got out of a friend's yard while they were on vacation in May. Easley County Councilman Dave Watson and his wife Trisha said they found Lucy on their front porch, rescued her and named her Gracie after trying to find her owner.
Last summer, the Blantons discovered Lucy had been found, the two families have disputed whom she belonged to. They later filed a complaint in magistrate's court and were ready to take the matter to a judge, with the hearing postponed several times since then.
With a bench trial, the judge will determine the outcome of the case rather than a jury. FOX Carolina crews were in the courtroom when the judge determined that the original complaint filed by the Blantons was incorrect, gave their attorney time in court to amend the paperwork, but he did not and the judge threw out the case.
The Blantons can re-file and they told FOX Carolina as they left the courtroom in tears they are going to go home, regroup and see what they need and want to do as a family with their four children.
"That's probably the bigger issue," Keith Blanton said after the case was dismissed. "It's just tough with the kids, but they'll just have to adapt and sit down as a family to decide what we're going to do."
The Watsons' attorney said they see it as a victory.
"It's definitely a win for us and the judge is right, by law the Watsons did everything they were supposed to," Ryan Beasley, the Watsons' attorney said. "They found a dog on their porch, took care of it, took it to the vet, put signs around the neighborhood."
The Watsons will keep Gracie, who they have had since last May.
Copyright 2013 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:50 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:50:15 GMT
A 23-year-old firefighter is in surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix. Officials told CBS 5 he is in extremely critical condition after being crushed between two fire vehicles. The firefighter wasMore >
Officials told CBS 5 that a 23-year-old firefighter is in extremely critical condition at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix after being crushed between two fire vehicles.More >
Thursday, May 16 2013 8:01 PM EDT2013-05-17 00:01:44 GMT
Rozenna Luna (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
A mother has been taken into police custody after police say she tried to give away her 6-month-old daughter at a Phoenix gas station. Sgt. Tommy Thompson with the Phoenix Police Department said investigatorsMore >
Police said Rozenna Luna, 36, had been drinking and was on meth when she asked strangers if they wanted a "free child" as she attempted to give the baby girl away at a Phoenix gas station.More >
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:01 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:01:02 GMT
Crash victim Juan Rodriguez with his fiance Amanda Lujan.
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road. "The fourth of July, Juan proposed,More >
You hear a lot about deadly accidents involving motorcycles. A Valley couple wants to share their story in hopes drivers will pay more attention to bikers on the road.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:06 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:06:03 GMT
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands ofMore >
The mayor of Phoenix is calling Groceries for Guns the largest buyback program in state history. In fact, Greg Stanton said nearly 2,000 guns are now off the street and unable to fall into the hands of criminals.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 11:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:49:34 GMT
Everyone wants the right to make their own choices when it comes to their healthcare, but a group of valley midwives says that isn't happening thanks to a new set of guidelines that will likely take effectMore >
Everyone wants the right to make their own choices when it comes to their healthcare, but a group of valley midwives says that isn't happening thanks to a new set of guidelines that will likely take effect next month. More >