21-year-old, Chris Grant, viciously kicks and tortures his girlfriend’s little 12-lb dog in an elevator at Grant Houses in Morningside Heights. Chris is from Manhattan, NY and the little dog is Chuvie-Duvi, his girlfriend’s Pom/Chi mix.
The video below, if you can stand to watch, shows Grant kicking the dog across an elevator, then dragging the cowering little dog back toward him, coaxing her into jumping up for him then kicking her again repeatedly. Then he drags the little out of the elevator. He shortly returns and again kicks the dog and continue kicking it around the elevator until it lay still.
Fortunately, Chuvi-Duvi didn’t suffer any broken bones in last Saturday’s attack – which cops from the Viper unit watched from a remote location before arresting Grant two days later.
“I’m not trusting nobody with my dog,” said the pup’s owner, Melvin Rodriguez, 22, who picked the pooch up from the ASPCA last night.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2010/01/06/2010-01-06_man_charged_with_torturing_dog_after_elevator_camera_catches_entire_ugly_inciden.html#ixzz11WOpenI8
A man who killed his girlfriend’s dog by snapping its spine — and who was identified from DNA under the animal’s claws — was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison.
Prosecutors said they had no idea why Jonathan King, 21, killed the 3-year-old Yorkshire terrier-Maltese mix, a female named Libra.
King, of Yorktown, stared at a courtroom wall as a family statement was read to state Supreme Court Justice Albert Lorenzo. King killed Libra “with a premeditated, unprovoked, savage act of horrifying cruelty. … I shudder imagining the fear and pain she suffered,” said the girlfriend’s father, Steven Levine.
King pleaded guilty in March to aggravated animal cruelty, a charge that has been a felony in New York since the passage of “Buster’s Law,” a 1999 measure named for a cat that was killed when a teenager set it on fire.
Prosecutors said King killed the dog “with no justifiable purpose” by yanking its collar hard enough to dislocate its head from its spine on April 6, 2009. They said he had gone to the house at a time when he knew no one would be home.
He then hid the dog’s body behind a clothes dryer, where one of his girlfriend’s family members found it. King also cut away portions of Libra’s pillow and part of a laundry basket that had his blood on it, prosecutors said.
Police found blood under the dead dog’s claws, and DNA analysis performed on it linked King to the crime.
The girlfriend, whose name has not been made public, broke up with King after the dog’s death. Her father said Tuesday the family considers King “a danger to our family, our community and our society.”
King fled to Miami after being charged, and his sentence includes paying $1,500 to defray the costs of bringing him back to New York, the district attorney’s office said.
Under Buster’s Law, aggravated cruelty against a “companion animal” is punishable by up to two years in prison. But many cases similar to King’s are still charged as misdemeanors, or plea-bargained down to lesser sentences.
— Two months ago on Staten Island, a man who beat his girlfriend’s Chihuahua to death pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to three months of weekends in jail.
— A Manhattan man was sentenced two weeks ago to three months for kicking his girlfriend’s lap dog in an attack police witnessed on security cameras.
— In February, another man admitted killing his girlfriend’s cat and pleaded guilty to the felony but was sentenced to therapy rather than prison time.
Ken Ross, chief investigator for the Westchester Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said that under Buster’s Law, prosecutors have to prove a suspect intended death or severe physical harm, “and that’s not always easy.”
In King’s case, he said, “This certainly appeared to be premeditated. He knew what he was going to do before he went to the house.”
Ross would not criticize the one-year jail sentence — half the maximum — but said King “will have to be watched” when he gets out of prison. And he suggested the law could be toughened to allow sentences as long as four years.
“Animals are like children, they’re the weakest,” Ross said. “They have no idea that you’re coming at them to hurt them.”
For the second time in two weeks, a dog owner in the Grant Houses in Morningside Heights, one of New York city’s largest public housing projects, has been caught on tape abusing their animal.
Tiara Davis was arrested Monday after surveillance video captured her beating her 4-year-old Pomeranian into an unconscious state. The 31-year-old woman lost it when her dog, Sparky, went to the bathroom in the elevator on Sunday.
The video shows Davis swinging and kicking the small dog on the leash until he blacks out.
“This is no way to treat your pet,” ASPCA spokesman Joseph Pentangelo told the Daily News.
Davis, who works as a vocational counselor for ex-offenders, told the paper she never meant to hurt Sparky, who is recovering from his injuries at an animal hospital. She was charged with torturing and injuring an animal.
“I kept telling him, ‘Sparky! Wait! Wait!” she told the News. “I became a little frustrated. It was never my intention to hurt him.”
Last week, another resident in Davis’ complex, was busted for brutally beating his girlfriend’s 12-pound Pomeranian-Chihuahua named Chuvi-Duvi. That incident was also caught on tape. Chris Grant, 21, was also charged with torturing and injuring an animal.
Agriculture Animal Abuse – False Claims
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. California Milk Producers Advisory Bd.
22 Cal.Rptr.3d 900
Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2, California, 2005
FACTS: Appellants People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. and John Robbins (collectively considered PETA) sued the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), claiming that its “Happy Cows” advertising campaign violated California’s Unfair Business Practices Act (UCL) because the advertisements were false and deceptive. The advertisements portray spacious, grassy pastures with a few cows grazing and “enjoying” the ease of life as a California dairy cow. In reality, however, the vast majority of California’s dairy cows spend their lives in grassless dirt lots. The cows are repeatedly impregnated and milked throughout their pregnancies. The cows suffer from painful maladies associated with their intensive rearing. And finally, when the cows can no longer meet the high production demands, they are slaughtered. PETA alleges that because the conditions in which California dairy cows are kept are so materially different from those presented in the advertisements, the ads are unlawfully deceptive and therefore subject to injunctive relief. CMAB filed demurrers to PETA’s amended complaint, which the trial court sustained without leave to amend. The trial court held that public entities, including the CMAB, are not “persons” who are subject to suit under the UCL. PETA appeals from the judgment of dismissal.
ISSUE: Whether the CMAB is a “person” that can be sued under the UCL.
HOLDING: No, public entities like the CMAB are not “persons” who are subject to suit under the UCL. Since the CMAB is not a statutory “person” the lawsuit cannot proceed on the merits.
Schumacher v. Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc.
434 F.Supp.2d 748
United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Northern Division, 2006
FACTS: Cattle producers filed a class action lawsuit under the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) and state law, alleging that beef packers knowingly used inaccurate prices published by the United States Department of Agriculture to negotiate the purchase of slaughter cattle at substantially lower prices than were economically justified. The cattle producers sought damages for alleged violations of the PSA and for unjust enrichment in violation of state law. Tyson Fresh Meats has filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims.
ISSUES: 1) Whether the cattle producers must show that Tyson Fresh Meats’ conduct in violation of the PSA adversely affected competition; 2) whether there is no unjust enrichment claim because none of the slaughter cattle sold during the class period were slaughtered in South Dakota; 3) whether there is no unjust enrichment claim where there has been an express contract; 4) whether Tyson Fresh Meats is entitled to summary judgment.
HOLDING: 1) No, the cattle producers do not have to show that Tyson Fresh Meats’ alleged conduct in violation of the PSA adversely affected competition. 2) No, there can be an unjust enrichment claim. The place of slaughter does not govern the choice of law. 3) No, there can be an unjust enrichment claim because without a meeting of the minds there was no express contract. 4) No, Tyson Fresh Meats is not entitled to summary judgment because genuine issues of material fact still exist. Summary judgment was denied.
People v. Sanchez
114 Cal.Rptr.2d 437
Court of Appeal, 3rd District, California, 2001
FACTS: In August of 1997 Sanchez’s neighbors went to his property because a calf had been bawling loudly for 2 or 3 days and could be heard by neighbors a mile away. The neighbors found animals living in hideous conditions. The calf was tied to a post, unable to get any food or water. Eight rabbits were caged without food or water, 4 were dead and 4 were dying. The bodies of several dead ducks, chickens and geese were scattered about. A corpse was being eaten by a dog. In June of 1998, an animal control officer went to Sanchez’s property and found several severely malnourished geese. He opined that they may have been without food or water for up to a month. Other neighbors testified that at unspecified times, they saw a chicken tied around a dog’s neck, they saw Sanchez firmly kick dogs with steel-toed boots for no apparent reason, they found a burn pit at the back of the property containing dead and dying calves and chickens, and saw dead cows, starving dogs, and dead rabbits. In 1999, a police officer went to the property where he found a dead peacock in a pit and a pig’s head attached to a tree. In June of 1999, the same officer found a puppy with one dead eye and a deeply infected hole between its eyes, which was full of live maggots that were moving and eating inside the wound. The puppy was impounded and euthanized. Sanchez was arrested and charged and convicted of multiple counts of animal cruelty. He appealed 7 of the counts. At issue was the requirement of a unanimity instruction. A unanimity instruction is used when the State charges one crime but relies on multiple acts to support that one crime. When multiple acts are alleged the jury must be unanimous as to which act or incident constitutes the crime.
ISSUES: Whether animal abuse may be committed as a continuous course of conduct, and when so committed requires no unanimity instruction; whether a unanimity instruction was required with respect to the count alleging cruelty to dogs in view of evidence of 2 separate incidents each of which established the offense; whether unanimity instructions were required as to counts alleging that defendants had abused rabbits, ducks, chickens, and geese, as each was based on a continuous course of conduct; whether a unanimity instruction was required with regard to the count alleging defendant’s failure to provide any medical treatment for the severely wounded puppy.
1) A unanimity instruction must be given where the evidence shows that more than one criminal act was committed which could constitute the charged offense, and the prosecution does not rely on any single act.
2) A unanimity instruction is not required where the criminal acts are so closely connected as to form a single transaction or where the offense itself consists of a continuous course of conduct.
3) An offense is of a continuing nature when it may be committed by a series of acts, which if individually considered, might not amount to a crime, but the cumulative effect is criminal.
4) When the language of the statute focuses on the goal or effect of the offense, the offense is a continuing offense.
5) Animal abuse may be committed as a continuous course of conduct, and when so committed requires no unanimity instruction.
6) Unanimity instruction was required with respect to count alleging cruelty to dogs in view of evidence of 2 separate incidents each of which established the offense, so this count was reversed.
7) Unanimity instructions were not required as to counts alleging that that defendant had abused rabbits, ducks, chickens, and geese by failing to provide adequate food and water on ongoing basis, as each count was based on a continuous course of conduct.
Deason v. State
881 So.2d 58
District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District, 2004
FACTS: On December 9, 2002, appellant Deason was visiting a home where pigs were kept in the backyard. Deason and three other individuals were allegedly in the front yard when they heard a pig squealing in the backyard. Everyone went to the backyard, where they found a pig that had been stabbed in a cage. When deputies arrived at the scene, they observed “Big Bob” lying on his stomach attempting to pull the injured pig out of the cage. He had a knife in his hand, but it was not the knife that had been used to stab the pig. Deason was still present, wearing clothes that were covered in pig feces, mud, and what appeared to be blood stains. Animal control was called to euthanize the pig, and Deason was arrested. No one testified that they saw Deason stab the pig, and the only physical evidence linking him to the crime was the reference to blood on his clothes. Deason attempted to introduce evidence that “Big Bob” was a confidential informant for the sheriff’s office in order to establish bias on the part of the deputies. The State objected and the trial court ultimately sustained the objection. Jury found Deason guilty of cruelty to animals and attempted inhumane slaughter of an animal. Deason appeals.
ISSUE: Whether the trial court erred by prohibiting Deason from establishing bias on behalf of the deputies by introducing relevant evidence that “Big Bob” was a confidential informant in unrelated cases.
HOLDING: Yes, the evidence that “Big Bob” was a confidential informant was relevant. The evidence should have been presented so that the question of whether it establishes bias could be resolved by a jury.
Cotton v. State
589 S.E.2d 610
Court of Appeals of Georgia, 2003
FACTS: Appellants Thomas and Gloria Cotton appeal from their joint conviction for allowing livestock to roam at large, and Thomas Cotton also appeals his conviction for cruelty to animals. In April 2001, a deputy from the sheriff’s office went to investigate a report that cattle were without drinking water. The deputy observed cattle and calves in a small pen, the ribs on some of the cattle were showing, and they were without food and water. When the deputy released the cattle from the pen, they ran frantically to a nearby mud puddle to drink water. The livestock inspector who accompanied the deputy to the site described the cattle as in very poor physical condition and suffering. According to a neighbor who lived by the property on which the Cottons kept their cattle, frequently ten or fourteen days would pass before the Cottons came to check on the cattle. The trial court found both Thomas and Gloria Cotton guilty of the livestock running at large charge. The trial court also found Thomas Cotton guilty of cruelty to animals. The Cottons appeal these convictions.
ISSUES: Whether there was sufficient evidence to support Thomas Cotton’s conviction for cruelty to animals and whether the trial court erred in finding Thomas and Gloria Cotton guilty of the civil statute relating to livestock running at large.
HOLDINGS: Yes, the evidence was sufficient to support Thomas Cotton’s conviction for cruelty to animals. Yes, the trial court did err in finding Thomas and Gloria Cotton guilty of the civil statute relating to livestock running at large; this is a civil statute, which does not impose criminal liability.
Sirmans v. State
534 S.E.2d 862
Court of Appeals of Georgia, 2000
FACTS: Appellant Sirmans and his family live on a farm where they raise cows, chickens, ducks, goats and hogs. In April 1998 the humane society director contacted the sheriff’s office regarding complaints that both departments had received about Sirmans’ alleged neglect of his animals. The humane society director drove past Sirmans’ property where she observed farm animals that appeared to be deprived of food and water in plain view of the roadway. After reporting her findings to the sheriff’s office, several humane society employees, two sheriff’s deputies, a veterinarian and the humane society director went to Sirmans’ farm to investigate further. Sirmans refused to allow them to look around his property; however, the large animals were in plain view and had no food and water. They loaded the animals that were in the worst shape onto trucks and transported them for veterinary care and shelter. The trial court convicted Sirmans of four counts of animal cruelty and one count of simple assault. He appeals.
ISSUES: 1) Whether the trial court erred in denying Sirmans’ motion to suppress evidence; 2) whether the humane society employees were subject to constitutional restrictions on search and seizure of private property; 3) whether the warrantless search of Sirmans’ property and the seizure of his animals was authorized under the plain view exception; 4) whether the trial court erred in overruling Sirmans’ motion to sever the assault charge from the animal cruelty charges; 5) whether the trial court had the authority to deprive Sirmans of those animals which the state failed to prove were abused.
HOLDINGS: 1) No, the trial court did not err in denying the motion to suppress evidence. Sirmans affirmatively stated at trial that he had no objection to the admission of the evidence, and so his right to contest the admission of the evidence on appeal was waived. 2) Yes, the humane society employees were acting as agents of the county and in concert with the sheriff’s department in seizing Sirmans’ animals, and thus were subject to constitutional restrictions on search and seizure on private property. 3) Yes, the warrantless search and seizure was authorized under the plain view exception to the warrant requirement. 4) No, Sirmans was not entitled to severance of the assault charge from the animal cruelty charges. Though the assault is not directly related, it is unlikely to have occurred if Sirmans had not neglected his animals. 5) No, the trial court was without statutory authority deprive defendant of those animals which the state failed to demonstrate were neglected or abused.
State v. Larson
941 S.W.2d 847
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, 1997
FACTS: Dr. Larson is a veterinarian and a farmer who owned and operated a hog farm. On August 2, 1995, the sheriff’s department received reports of stray hogs. After unsuccessfully trying to contact Larson, the deputy sheriff went to Larson’s farm and returned the stray hogs. The deputy sheriff observed that the hogs were emaciated. Two days later the sheriff’s department received more calls regarding stray hogs. Based on the deputy sheriff’s observations from August 2, a warrant to search Larson’s property was obtained. During the search, the deputy sheriff and two veterinarians observed bad flooring in parts of the farm building, abundant refuse from the disposal system, a “sickening odor,” the remains of approximately 250 dead hogs, and live hogs displaying various stages of malnutrition. Larson was charged with fifty counts of Class A misdemeanor animal abuse and fifty counts for failure to properly dispose of dead animals. He filed a motion for bill of particulars. The trial court denied the motion, and Larson was convicted on all counts. He appeals.
ISSUES: 1) Whether the trial court erred in denying Larson’s motion for bill of particulars; and 2) whether the deputy sheriff’s entry onto Larson’s property in order to notify him of the stray hogs, and the subsequent search warrant that was issued were unlawful.
HOLDING: 1) Yes, the trial court did err in denying Larson’s motion for bill of particulars. Counts 1 through 50 were not sufficiently detailed to inform Larson of the pig to which they were referring. Therefore, conviction on counts 1 through 50 was reversed and remanded for a new trial with the prosecution to provide a bill of particulars on each animal. 2) No, the deputy sheriff’s entry onto Larson’s property and the subsequent search warrant were not unlawful. The “plain view” doctrine is applicable because dead and malnourished hogs were visible to the deputy sheriff before he entered the property. Conviction on counts 51 through 100 for improper disposal of dead animals was affirmed.
State v. Sheets
677 N.E.2d 818
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fourth District, Highland County, 1996
FACTS: Appellant William Sheets was charged with cruelty to animals for failing to provide sufficient quantities of food to ten horses. Sheets had one hundred and twenty-two horses on his property, and after a search of his farm, the Highland County Humane Society seized all one hundred and twenty-two. The trial court found that when the Humane Society seized nine of the horses for which Sheets was charged with cruelty to animals, they were located on the Adams County portion of Sheets’ farm. Sheets pled no contest to the nine charges of cruelty to these horses. Sheets contested the tenth cruelty to animals charge, the charge of cruelty to a horse named Jamala Christie. Trial court found Sheets guilty of cruelty to Jamala Christie. Defendant appeals all of the charges.
ISSUES: 1) Whether the trial court erred in overruling Sheets’ motion to suppress evidence resulting from the search of his farm; 2) whether the search warrant issued by the Highland County court was valid for the Adams County portion of his farm; 3) whether trial court erred in requiring Sheets to surrender all one hundred and twenty-two of his horses even though he was only convicted of cruelty to ten of these horses; 4) whether the trial court erred in overruling Sheets’ motion for acquittal involving the cruelty to Jamala Christie.
HOLDINGS: 1) No, the trial court did not err in overruling Sheets’ motion to suppress evidence resulting from the search of his farm. The affidavit established probable cause for a warrant to search Sheets’ farm. 2) Yes, the search warrant issued by Highland County was valid for the Adams County portion of the farm. Sheets did not have a legitimate expectation of privacy in the pasture area of the Adams County portion of the farm, and therefore no search warrant was necessary to search that area. 3) No, the trial court did not err in requiring Sheets to surrender all one hundred and twenty-two horses. The conditions of probation were not an abuse of the trial court’s discretion because the probationary conditions had a relationship to the crime of which Sheets was convicted. 4) No, the trial court did not err in overruling Sheets’ motion for acquittal regarding Jamala Christie because there was reasonable evidence to support this conviction.
State v. Lapping
599 N.E.2d 416
Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Trumbull County, 1991
FACTS: Appellant Lapping, an osteopathic physician, purchased farmland with the intent of raising cattle. Knowing little about the cattle business, Lapping purchase twenty-eight head of beef cattle over a period of six months. In March 1990, the sheriff’s department received information that there was a dead cow floating in a pond on Lapping’s property. After obtaining a search warrant, humane officers entered Lapping’s property to check on the cattle. They found the dead cow in the pond, another dead cow next to the barn, and most of the rest of the cows in a pasture with no hay and sparse grass. The humane officers believed that all of the animals looked thin. They confiscated all of the animals, providing them with food, water and medical treatment. Lapping was charged with thirty counts of cruelty to animals. The trial court denied his request for a bill of particulars, and the case proceeded to jury trial. One of the counts was dismissed, and appellant was convicted of twenty-eight of the remaining counts of animal cruelty. Trial court denied Lapping’s motion to treat the twenty-eight counts as allied offenses. Lapping appeals.
ISSUES: 1) Whether a failure by the prosecuting attorney to provide a bill of particulars as to the specific animals that were alleged to be mistreated. 2) Whether the trial court erred in instructing the jury that animal cruelty is a strict liability crime, which does not require a showing of intentional or reckless activity.
HOLDING: No. In this instance the state did not possess the specific information requested by the appellant as the cruelty charged took place over a period of time and the appellant better knew when that cruelty occurred. Yes, the trial court did err in instructing the jury that cruelty to animals was a strict liability offense. The court held that the animal cruelty statute was not a strict liability statute based on the principles of stare decisis. The decision was remanded due to the improper jury instruction.
State v. Hafle
367 N.E.2d 1226
Court of Appeals of Ohio, First District, Clinton County, 1977
FACTS: Appellant Hafle and his wife moved from their residence in Missouri to a twenty acre farm in Ohio, bringing with them forty head of beef cattle, a horse, and two sheep. Nine months later, the director of the humane society received a complaint from the neighborhood about Hafle’s neglect of his cattle. The director and a member of the humane society went to Hafle’s farm, talked to him, and inspected the cattle and the premises. The director and member returned to the farm again the next day and again two days after that to inspect the animals and get the matter worked out. At this time Hafle said that he would sell some of the cattle to a neighbor and take the rest to the stockyards by February 27, the following day. On February 28 the cattle were still on Hafle’s farm. The humane society then had all of the livestock removed from Hafle’s property in accordance with an order prepared in the local solicitor’s office. Hafle was convicted of cruelty to animals and he appeals.
ISSUES: 1) Whether the cruelty to animals statute under which Hafle was convicted was unconstitutionally vague; 2) whether the trial court erred in admitting into evidence hearsay testimony of statements made by Hafle during a custodial interrogation; 3) whether there was sufficient evidence to sustain the conviction.
HOLDINGS: 1) No, the cruelty to animals statute was not unconstitutionally vague. 2) No, the trial court did not err in allowing the hearsay testimony as evidence because of the inapplicability of Miranda to misdemeanors and because no interrogation took place. 3) Yes, there was not only adequate but overwhelming evidence to sustain the conviction.
Com. v. Barnes
629 A.2d 123
Superior Court of Pennsylvania, 1993
FACTS: In May 1991, David Philipe, an environmental inspector with the Erie County Health Department, went to appellants David and Alice Barnes’ horse farm. Philipe went to investigate a complaint concerning odors coming from the farm. When he arrived at the farm, no one was home. Philipe did notice a strong odor of dead or rotting animals though, and after walking around the farm, he saw the carcasses of dead animals, including two horses. Looking into the barns, he saw several horses that appeared to be uncared for and undernourished. Philipe notified David Barnes of his violation of health Department regulations, and also informed Merle Wolfgang, chief cruelty officer of the Erie Humane Society, of his findings. Wolfgang then went to the Barnes’ farm the next day and found conditions to be as Philipe described. When Wolfgang returned a few days later, intending to obtain the Barnes’ permission to search their farm, they informed her that they had given the horses away. As she was leaving the farm though, Wolfgang saw several sick and malnourished looking horses in a nearby field. She learned that the Barnes were renting the field. Wolfgang then obtained a search warrant, and removed seven horses from the field. A farrier and veterinarian examined the horses and concluded that they were suffering from numerous, severe, chronic health problems. David and Alice Barnes were found guilty of ten counts of cruelty to animals. They appealed to the Court of Common Pleas, where they were convicted of seven counts of cruelty to animals. Their post-verdict motions were denied and they appealed.
ISSUES: 1) Whether the statutory grant of police powers to the Humane Society was an improper delegation of governmental authority; 2) whether the statutory provision under which the Barnes were convicted is unconstitutionally vague and violative of due process; 3) whether there was sufficient evidence to support the Barnes’ convictions.
HOLDINGS: 1) No, the statutory grant of police powers to the Humane Society was not an improper delegation of governmental authority. The actions of the Humane Society agents were regulated and constrained; the agents could be considered police officers because they had been given the power to arrest when acting within the scope of their employment; their searches were reasonable; the agents were paid employees and so they are not shielded from liability by the “good Samaritan” statute. 2) No, the statutory provision under which the Barnes were convicted is not unconstitutionally vague and does not violate due process. There is a statutory exception for activity which is “undertaken in normal agricultural operations,” however the Barnes’ utter neglect of the horses does not fall within the exception. 3) Since the Barnes’ neglect of their horses does not fall within the “normal agricultural operations” exception, their challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence is without merit.
State v. Gadreault
758 A.2d 781
Supreme Court of Vermont, 2000
FACTS: On December 3, 1997, a search of defendant Gadreault’s property revealed three frozen dead pigs in an unsheltered pen in six inches of liquid manure. There was also a calf tethered to a fence post that appeared weak and to have difficulty standing. Gadreault was charged with four counts of animal cruelty in violation of Vermont’s animal cruelty statute. Jury found Gadreault guilty of three counts of cruelty to animals. Gadreault appeals.
ISSUES: 1) Whether the court erroneously excluded the intent element from the crimes with which Gadreault was charged; 2) whether the court denied Gadreault the right to a speedy trial; 3) whether the search warrant was unlawful because the information upon which it was based was illegally obtained; 4) whether Gadreault’s sentence was excessive; 5) whether Gadreault’s Sixth Amendment rights were violated because he was not allowed to assist his attorney, the State failed to call a particular witness who was present at the search of the house, and the judge should have been recused because he was acquainted with Gadreault.
HOLDINGS: 1) No, the court did not err in excluding the intent element. The statute’s subsections do not include an intent element; therefore the Legislature intended that offenders be held strictly liable. 2) No, Gadreault has not identified any prejudice to his defense, thus there is no violation of his right to a speedy trial. 3) No, the search warrant was not unlawful because Gadreault did not identify anything in the record to show that the trial court’s ruling was clearly erroneous or unsupported by the record. 4) No, Gadreault’s sentence was not excessive because there is nothing in the record to show that he preserved this issue for appeal. 5) There is insufficient information with which to address these issues.