It looks like PETA’s lawyers don’t quite understand what the defense’s witnesses are supposed to do. So, as a service to PETA’s legal brain trust, we’re publicly providing this little piece of advice: Don’t call up witnesses that make your clients look worse.Judging from recent courtroom developments, that bit of legal common sense seems to have escaped Adria Hinkle’s and Andrew Cook’s defense team. Their first witness — former police officer Susan Belch — ended her testimony by stating that she had been lead to believe that PETA saw euthanization as a "last resort." (Yeah, not so much.) Next, William Coburn — the Public Works director for Windsor, North Carolina — told the court that the only thing he knew about the Bertie County shelter that had given Hinkle and Cook animals was that it had improved its conditions over the last few years.And yesterday, there was this exchange between lead prosecutor Valerie Asbell and the defense’s third witness — Daphna Nachminovitch, a ten-year veteran of PETA who now runs its "Research & Investigations" department:
Asbell: "How was Bertie County disposing of the animals?
Nachminovitch: "Today? Now?"
Asbell: "Then, in 2000."
Nachminovitch: "I don’t know what they were doing with the bodies at that time, that were dead. Is that your question?"
Asbell: "That’s my question."
Nachminovitch: "I don’t know."
Asbell: "All right. But it is your testimony that Bertie County knew that your employees were euthanizing animals in Bertie County. That’s your testimony, is it not? … It’s your testimony that [Animal Control Officer] Barry Anderson knew that?"
[ … ]
Asbell: "Well, let me ask you this. If Barry Anderson knew that, and if [County Manager] Zee Lamb knew that, and the Sheriff knew that-that you, and your employees, including Ms. Hinkle and Mr. Cook, were killing animals in Bertie County-why didn’t you justleave the dogs there?"
Nachminovitch: "No reason."
Good question. Why would PETA go through the trouble of transporting all the shelter pets they killed back to their Norfolk, Virginia headquarters when they could just leave them in North Carolina? Maybe because they’re trying to hide something?For other developments from Day 7, check out our full roundup at PetaKillsAnimals.com.