Judge sides with prosecutors on search warrant; animal welfare case continued
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com December 27, 2011 6:34PM
Dawn Hamill. | File photo
Updated: January 29, 2012 8:11AM
A south suburban woman charged with numerous misdemeanors for allegedly mistreating animals at her shelter near Tinley Park will again try to have evidence obtained during a raid of her property disallowed at her upcoming trial, the woman’s attorney said Tuesday.
Dawn Hamill, who owns Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Rescue and Sanctuary at 5555 W. 175th St. near Tinley Park, had her case continued Tuesday until Jan. 23 at the Markham courthouse.
Hamill was in court to argue that the Cook County Sheriff’s police had no probable cause to search and raid the property, where the alleged violations occurred, in February. The hearing Tuesday, which centered on the validity of statements on the search warrant, took several hours because “you don’t get many motions to squash search warrants on misdemeanor cases,” Hamill’s attorney, Steven Decker, said.
The motion was denied, but Decker said a motion to reconsider the denial would be filed at the next court date.
“It appeared that significant aspects of the warrant contained false or misleading information,” Decker said, adding that he’s confident the motion to toss out the warrant will be successful and would avoid “the laborious fight of a trial.”
Hamill has not decided whether she wants a bench or jury trial but will decide at the Jan. 23 hearing, Decker said.
In February, Hamill’s 3.5-acre facility was raided by county sheriff’s police and animal control authorities. They found a dead miniature horse and a dead cat, along with other animals — including dogs, horses, goats, sheep, rabbits and llamas — that were sick or near death. More than 100 animals were removed from her business.
Hamill was charged Feb. 11 with 10 misdemeanor counts of violating the state animal welfare and animal control act. Multiple additional charges of administering rabies inoculations without a license, among other things, were filed in March.