ANDERSON, S.C. (WHDH) — A dog on the stand of a murder trial is not something you see every day, but it has become a reality in a South Carolina court room.
The dog, Roma, has been a fixture in a South Carolina courtroom since November. It has been there to offer comfort to witnesses and victims when things get tough.
Assistant Solicitor, Chelsea Moore, lives and works with the Labrador golden retriever mix.
“I’m just so proud to be a part of something like this,” said Moore. “Something this big and this important and this wonderful for victims in Anderson County,” she added.
Roma made history along the way by becoming the first dog to take the stand.
A judge approved the dog to sit beside a witness who has special needs during the trial for Robert Joe Frost. Frost has been accused of murder.
The jurors weren’t aware that Roma was on the stand. They were sent out of the room while the dog took its place, hidden beneath the stand.
The witness said was grateful for Roma’s support.
“Roma helped me out a lot yesterday,” said the witness.
Moore said it was emotional.
“I was kind of like a proud mama, but I think it was emotional for everyone because we finally got to see live up to what we knew she could do,” she said.
Roma was just 8 weeks old when the three years of training to take on the job began.
The training was similar to that of an assistance dog that might help someone in a wheelchair.
The biggest feat for Roma has been putting people at ease—it’s a job Roma seems to love.
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