Butler-Brady hospitalized, motion to dismiss animal-cruelty case continued

LIHU‘E — A hospitalization has delayed the decision on a dismissal motion in the 16-count misdemeanor case of animal cruelty against Lara Butler-Brady.

At a Thursday hearing in 5th Circuit Court, defense counsel Craig De Costa said his client, Butler-Brady, has been hospitalized “under intensive medical care” since Tuesday. She is not expected to be released this week, he added.

Court discussion indicated her condition was the result of an accident.

Chief Judge Randal Valenciano continued the hearing to May 15. The hearing is for the court to decide on the motion to dismiss the case for the state’s violation of a right to a speedy trial.

Special Deputy Attorney General Sheri Lawson was present by phone from the Big Island and did not object to the continuance. She was appointed special prosecutor to replace the Kaua‘i County Prosecuting Attorney’s office for a potential conflict of interest. The case is set for jury trial May 29.

Butler-Brady is charged with 16 counts of cruelty to animals in a 2010 case involving horses on the 165-acre Keapana Horsemanship riding stable in Hanama‘ulu. The horses were declared emaciated by the Humane Society after complaints were filed and Butler-Brady was indicted on July 13, 2010.

The horses remain in protective custody and are maintained by the Kaua‘i Humane Society at its Puhi shelter and through some privately owned land. If found guilty, Butler-Brady faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

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