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CONVICTED: Was justice served?
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Wednesday, Jun 30, 1993County: Butte
Defendant/Suspect: Charlotte Lorraine Speegle
In July of 1993, officers entered the property of Lorraine Speegle. They reportedly found 200 poodles, one cat, and three horses on her property. The officers reported that the animals were starving, thirsty, and living in filthy conditions. Many were anemic, and suffering from various diseases and conditions caused by neglect and malnourishment. The officers also reported that Speegle was keeping frozen corpses of puppies and dogs in a freezer. Speegle claimed that she was keeping them for an experiment.
The animals were all seized and taken to the Northwest Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Thirty-four of the dogs either died or were euthanized for health reasons.
Speegle was convicted of eight counts of felony animal cruelty and once count of misdemeanor animal neglect. She was sentenced to two years in prison, and ordered to pay restitution to the NWSPCA for the cost of impounding the animals seized from her property in the amount of $265,000.000.
The trial court sentenced the unrepentant defendant to state prison for the middle term of two years on one felony count and ran the sentences for the subordinate felonies concurrently; the court deemed her consecutive misdemeanor sentence satisfied out of her presentence custody. On appeal, she complains section 597 is unconstitutionally vague, her trial violated double jeopardy, the instructions were erroneous, and she should not be subject to reimbursing the full costs of the consequences of her misconduct.
The conviction for animal neglect (§ 597f) was reversed on appeal. The judgment is otherwise affirmed in all respects.
- The Animal Rights Law Reporter
- Superior Court No. CM003371
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