Due to a Fauquier County judge’s ruling that a crucial piece of evidence was inadmissible, a Virginia kennel owner who faces five counts of felonious animal cruelty will not be tried this month.

Irina Barrett was detained in January 2020, she was charged with five counts of animal cruelty, and had her kennel of 70 canines taken away. Sept. 27 was the scheduled date of her trial.

The case revolved around the passing of a Doberman pinscher puppy in Maryland after it had been sent to a doctor’s clinic for treatment.

Trey Mayfield, Barrett’s attorney, has contended that the search warrant document was insufficiently particular to permit the search of Barrett’s kennel.

Based on court records Judge James Plowman of the Circuit Court concurred and granted the defense’s request to have the search warrant suppressed.

The search warrant has already been revoked once in this case. The judge suppressed the warrant in March 2020, compelling the prosecution to withdraw the accusations. In August 2020, charges were reinstituted after a different judge overruled the first decision.

Fauquier County prosecutors have formally announced their intention to appeal Plowman’s ruling to the Virginia Court of Appeals following that judge’s decision on August 30.

Barrett’s attorney Trey Mayfield released a statement to Fauquier Times:

“The reason there was no evidence of a crime is because no crime was ever committed by Ms. Barrett. Like any responsible dog owner, Ms. Barrett takes her animals to the veterinarian when they are in need of medical attention, which is precisely what happened in this case.”

 

“Two judges in Fauquier County have now determined that government officials acted unlawfully in bringing this case. The commonwealth attorney’s office should admit it made a mistake, stop wasting taxpayer funds on this baseless case, and turn its attention back to prosecuting actual crimes instead of tearing down the reputations of innocent people.”

Additionally, Barrett has joined a federal lawsuit brought by the Virginia Animal Owners’ Alliance that challenges the state’s application of a number of laws pertaining to animal abuse and neglect.

 

About Ashton Horne

Ashton Horne is an upcoming writer who currently resides in Harford County. He currently interns for TheDMVDaily as a journalist.

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