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Great Dane verdict still pending, judge denies defense request to reconsider earlier rulings

Union Leader Correspondent

November 22. 2017 1:05PM
Judge Charles Greenhalgh, who presided over the animal cruelty trial of Christina Fay, is deliberating the verdict. (Bea Lewis/Union Leader Correspondent)

OSSIPEE — The verdict is still out for a Wolfeboro woman accused of mistreating 75 Great Danes, but the judge in the case has denied a request from her lawyers to reconsider three prior rulings.

In a three-paragraph order dated Monday, Judge Charles L. Greenhalgh held that the defense failed to raise any issue, fact or point of law that he had overlooked when he initially decided not to dismiss the charges against Christina Fay or suppress the warrant issued to search her mansion in a gated community.

Fay, 59, faces 11 misdemeanor charges for allegedly mistreating the dogs at her Warren Sands Road home in Wolfeboro.

The defendant’s legal team, Kent Barker of Nashua and James Cowles of Wolfeboro, argued police unlawfully expanded the scope of the search warrant by allowing the Humane Society of the United States to join in.

Judge Greenhalgh also held firm on the decision not to “quash” or void the charges.

The defense was given the opportunity to question both Dr. Kate Battenfelder, the veterinarian that Fay regularly used to treat the dogs, and Battenfelder’s veterinary assistant, Stephanie Maycomber.

The women resisted efforts to compel their testimony.

After the state declined to grant them immunity, Greenhalgh ruled that he couldn’t force them to take the stand and answer questions under oath that could expose them to criminal prosecution.

Fay took the stand in her own defense on Nov. 14, the last day of the trial. Barker presented his client as a loving, conscientious and responsible dog owner and argued the state failed to prove the allegations against her.

He argued that the general good health of the dogs, despite the many health problems common to the European variety of Great Dane, was testimony to the quality of care Fay provided.

Prosecutor Simon Brown said there is no question that Fay loved her dogs, but since moving from Maine to New Hampshire in 2015, he argued, she added 30 more of the large canines to her household while having lost some of her employees and injuring her knee.

The charges Fay faces are Class A misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

The prosecution has said if Fay is found guilty, it will take court action to gain legal custody of the dogs so they might be adopted into new homes.

The dogs seized from Fay’s home in June remain in the custody and care of the Humane Society of the United States.

Courts Crime Animals Ossipee Wolfeboro

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