US prosecutors trying to crack a murder case realised they were barking up the wrong tree when one of their witnesses turned out to be a small dog.
The mystery witness turned out to be a Shih Tzu
They had been interested in talking to Murphy Smith since the main suspect sent him a letter from his cell.
But when he turned up at court, lawyers knew they had grabbed the wrong lead for Murphy was a pet, not a relative.
Albert K Smith, the dog's owner, is awaiting trial in Arkansas, over the shooting of his ex-wife's boyfriend.
The defendant had written to Murphy from his cell - alerting prosecutors' suspicions.
They sent out a subpoena, and the five-year-old Shih Tzu duly appeared at the Benton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, led by the defendant's brother.
An official refused to grant them access to the courthouse - because no dogs are allowed.
Prosecutor Robin Green told the Associated Press news agency she apologised to the brother for any inconvenience, adding: "The dog was friendly enough and probably would have been a very co-operative witness."