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Hamill’s attorney scores victory in animal abuse case

Updated: September 16, 2012 6:24AM



The attorney for Dawn Hamill, the woman charged with numerous misdemeanors for allegedly mistreating animals at her shelter near Tinley Park, scored a victory at a court hearing Tuesday.

The judge will allow Purav Bhatt to question former Cook County Sheriff’s Animal Crimes Unit investigator Larry Draus about his being indicted on federal extortion charges of trafficking cigarettes in an unrelated case.

“The jury gets to see the state’s side of what officer Draus did, but I get to question him regarding his credibility. That’s important because if they’re going to hear the good and bad things about Dawn, they should be able to hear that about all the witnesses,” Bhatt said.

The trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 11 at the courthouse in Markham. The judge will allow the state to present evidence related to state Department of Agriculture investigations on Hamill’s property. Her animal sanctuary is licensed by the department.

“The state will have the opportunity to ask Dawn questions about that to make sure she’s in compliance,” Bhatt said.

Dazzle’s Painted Pastures Rescue and Sanctuary, 5555 W. 175th St., in Bremen Township was raided Feb. 11, 2011, by the animal crimes unit, which removed more than 100 animals, mostly dogs and cats, along with a dead miniature horse and dead Himalayan cat.



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