PETA Trial, Day 1

After a day and half of pre-trial wrangling, oral arguments are scheduled to commence at 3:30pm today in the case of two employees of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) suspected of killing homeless pets and throwing their bodies into a dumpster. Aside from the expected nitpicking from the defense during jury selection, the only development of note so far came when the lawyers for PETA employees Andrew Cook and Adria Hinkle asked Judge Cy Grant to schedule one final defense motion — a request "to exclude evidence of other crimes" from the trial.

Asked by Judge Grant for her take on the request, District Attorney Valerie Asbell explained: "The other crimes, the other things they’re seeking to exclude, are prior dumpings of animals."

Judge Grant: "Do you have evidence of this?"
D.A. Asbell: "Yes."

So prosecutors apparently have proof that Hinkle and Cook were responsible for animal dumping — and, presumably, animal killing — on a larger scale than their June 2005 arrest alone would suggest.

Media personnel looking for the inside scoop on the trial have been turning to CCF in droves, thanks in large part to our full-page ad in The New York Times and the moving billboard we parked near the Hertford County Courthouse yesterday. Here are some of the highlights:We told the New York Post‘s Leonard Greene that "[i]f you send your money to PETA, you’re not getting what you think you’re paying for. They’re not a group of benign bunny-huggers. They’re so radical they can’t even practice what they preach."WVEC-TV13 (Hampton Roads, VA) included an interview with us in their piece on the trial, in which we told their reporter: "It’s a great thing to want to support and help animals. But for crying out loud, don’t give your money to PETA — because they’re the ones killing animals by the thousands."Likewise, WNCT-TV9 (Greenville, NC) included this quote from us in their piece on the trial: " … the only publicity PETA doesn’t really want is when somebody shines a bright light on what they’re doing."For a detailed summary of the day’s legal tussling and a full round-up of media coverage, check out our Day 1 Synopsis at

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