Rowell trial set for Oct. 14
A jury trial for Deborah Beatrice Rowell of Pine River, who is charged in Cass County District Court with animal neglect, is slated for Monday, Oct. 14.
Documents from the Cass County Attorney’s Office say the case was originally scheduled for an Oct. 8 jury trial, but on Oct. 3 Judge David Harrington recused himself from the case. Judge Jana Austad then recused herself from the case because she is being listed as a witness by Rowell’s attorney.
On Oct. 4, Judge John Melbye of Beltrami County was assigned the case. Melbye scheduled the Oct. 14 court date.
Rowell, 60, faces seven misdemeanor and two petty misdemeanor counts relating to animal neglect at her kennel on County Road 1 East in Pine River. On July 16, 133 dogs, 29 of them puppies, were seized. Rowell pleaded not guilty to all charges on Aug. 16.
The misdemeanor charges could result in 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
The animals seized from Rowell are in the possession of the Animal Humane Society and are being held in the metro area until it can be determined in a civil court if the seizure of the animals was legal.
Judge Richard Zimmerman declared it legal Aug. 29, but Rowell’s attorney submitted a stay of proceedings pending an appeal, which was denied, though the dogs still cannot be adopted or placed for the time being. In the meantime, the humane society is seeking donations to offset the cost of caring for them.
Travis Grimler may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Facebook.