Trial in dog maiming delayed until summer

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Court: Defence not ready for trial due to lack of communication from accused

The trial of a man accused of shooting and wounding two dogs with arrows was delayed for a second time last week.

The man who found the dogs (now named Kitchi and Chevayo), the woman who got veterinarian care and a peace officer were set to testify on Feb. 28.

The dogs were found March 30, 2016 on the Eden Valley Reserve with four-point metal arrows still in their body. Kitchi had his foreleg removed. An arrow near Chevayo’s heart was removed. Justin Lefthand is charged with two counts of animal cruelty. His first trial in August was re-scheduled to last week because he was in a residential addiction treatment centre. His trial date is now Aug. 22, 2018 in Turner Valley Court.

Kelly Cerato runs the dog rescue society Tails of the Misunderstood and took Kitchi and Chevayo to the vet. Both dogs have been adopted and are now doing well, she said.

“They’ve filled out and gotten healthier,” Cerato said.

She was ready to testify at Wednesday’s trial and was again frustrated that the case was put off.

Defence lawyer Gloria Froese said she hadn’t been in communication with her client. She added she was surprised to find out three people interviewed by police were not subpoenaed by the Crown to testify at the trial and that she would have to subpoena them.

“I’m not prepared to proceed to trial,” Froese said.

Crown prosecutor Doug Taylor opposed the adjournment and said Froese could have called his office anytime to discuss the trial ahead of time.

“It’s very frustrating for the Crown – these types of situations,” Taylor said.

Judge Paul Mason granted the defence an adjournment, but said the trial will proceed on the next date. He chastised Lefthand for not talking to his lawyer prior to the most recent trial date.

“We should have been able to go ahead today,” Mason said. “You’ve caused delay and concern for everyone.”

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