From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1994:

The U.S. Supreme Court on
June 13 upheld federal court and Court
of Appeals rulings that communities
cannot consititutionally ban the display
of political signs on citizens’ own prop-
erty. Issued on behalf of anti-Persian Gulf
War protester Margaret Gilleo, of Ladue,
Missouri, who is now a Congressional
candidate, the ruling applies as well to
people who have been ordered to cease
displaying signs on behalf of animals.
Friends of Animals in early
June won a judgement against the State
of Alaska for attorney’s fees incurred in
defending itself against governor Walter
Hickel’s failed attempt to sue FoA for libel.
The Hickel suit was filed in June 1993 in
an apparent attempt to prevent FoA from
further publicizing the Alaskan plan to kill
wolves in order to make more moose and
caribou available to hunters.

The Idaho State Supreme
Court on June 10 reversed the convic-
tion of activist Claire Casey for hunter
harassment. Casey was accused of scaring
chukar pheasant away from two men who
were hunting on federal land on November
29, 1990. “There is a realistic danger,”
the court wrote, “that the statute could sig-
nificantly compromise recognized First
Amendment rights.” The ruling came as a
Congressional conference committee tried
to reconcile the different versions of the
Crime Bill passed by the House and
Senate. The Senate version includes a
hunter harassment statute.
David Barbarash, a Canadian
suspected of involvement in the June
1992 Animal Liberation Front raid on
the University of Edmonton, Alberta,
was arrested by the FBI as an illegal alien
on May 9 in Scotts Valley, California,
and deported on May 27 to face charges.
Darren Thurston, convicted in September
1993 in connection with the same raid,
was re-sentenced on May 13 by the
Alberta Court of Appeal. Originally given
two years on probation and ordered to pay
$73,725 restitution, after serving 15
months in jail while awaiting trial,
Thurston will now serve two more years,
one year less than the prosecution request-
ed in the appeal.
Alleged British ALF fugitives
Keith Mann and Angie Hamp have
reportedly been arrested in Hastings,
England, a year after Mann escaped from
a police van. Vivien Smith, who was
arrested with Mann then, is reportedly at
large again, having walked away from a
supervised release program just one year
into a seven-year sentence.
Exotic animals
New York City police respond-
ing to a burglary call found 62 live rat-
tlesnakes and more than 40 dead ones on
June 5 at International Collection
Enterprise, a Jackson Heights “debt col-
lection agency” whose main business was
apparently selling snake-based folk medi-
cines. Arrested were the owner and two
clerks, all related: Jung Kim, 45, Chung
Kim, 27, and Chang Kim, also 27.
Former Jungle Friends pet
store manager Edmund Celebucki, 40,
of Parma, Ohio, pleaded guilty on May 26
to trying to smuggle $255,000 worth of
exotic reptiles into the U.S., including 64
lizards and 226 snakes. Doing business as
Herpetological Research Associates,
Celebucki was charged in connection with
two 1987 trafficking incidents, two more
in 1989, and others in 1991 and 1993.
Convicted of illegally capturing
six baby loggerhead sea turtles in Florida
in August 1992 and taking them home as
pets, James T. Frainey, 33, of Frankfort,
Illinois, drew 70 days in jail and was
ordered to pay $14,455 restitution to the
Shedd Aquarium on June 9. After the tur-
tles began falling ill, Frainey abandoned
one at the Shedd in September 1992, and
another in January 1993. The Shedd final-
ly caught him with a sting when he tried to
leave two more in April 1993. He still
faces unrelated check forgery charges.
Authorities in Loxahatchee,
Florida, are probing the deaths from
neglect of 430 exotic birds worth
$500,000 at the home of missing collector
Bhagwan Lall. The door was unlocked and
all Lall’s clothes were gone. Also missing
was a companion known only as Lila.
Another 300 birds were rescued, weak but
alive. At deadline police planned to exca-
vate what they termed a “mysterious
mound” in the backyard of the home.
Exotic animal rancher Ron
Morrow, of Millerstown, Ohio, was
fined $50,000 on May 10 for more than 50
Animal Welfare Act violations, including
operating without a permit, and was barred
from getting a permit for at least 10 years.
Morrow is expected to appeal. Also
recently fined by the USDA for AWA
exhibitors’ permit infractions were Arthur
and Joann Weinke of Weinke’s Paul
Bunyan Lookout in Spruce, Michigan
($1,500 with $2,500 suspended); Brian
DeLong and Vincent Mancnielli of Aby
Reptile Show in Newark, Delaware
($500); Hank Post of Stagecoach
Productions in Las Vegas, Nevada
($2,500); and Peter Caron of Octagon
Sequence of Eight, in Punta Gorda,
Florida ($10,000).
Wildlife lawsuits
The Exxon Corporation faces
lawsuits seeking $1.5 billion in compen-
satory damages and $15 billion in puni-
tive damages following a June 13 federal
jury verdict in Anchorage, Alaska, that
the firm was negligent in hiring known
alcoholic Joseph E. Hazlewood to captain
the Exxon Valdez, the supertanker that hit
rocks in Prince William Sound, Alaska,
on March 24, 1989, causing the worst oil
spill in North American history.
The Wise Use theory of proper-
ty rights took another legal hit June 9
when the U.S. District Court in Cheyenne,
Wyoming, ruled that wildlife belongs to
the state and that the state can therefore
restrict hunting on private property.
The Cleveland Metroparks
commissioners have agreed to spend up to
$15,000 defending the park board and
ranger Lillie Blair against a damage suit
brought by George A. Csiba, of Auburn
Township, who claims he was improperly
arrested in April 1993 on an outstanding
warrant issued after he was accused of set-
ting his dog on deer in November 1992.
The case was dismissed in August 1993
because the charges were not brought to
trial within 45 days, as Ohio law demands.
Animal neglect
Howard Circuit, Maryland
Judge Cornelius Sybert Jr. ruled June 5
that Howard County Animal Control
warden Timothy Grove didn’t need a
search warrant to inspect two starving
cows in the barn of Dr. Richard John
Burroughs, because a barn is not a citizen’s
home. Burroughs was convicted of cruelly
neglecting the cows in May 1993. His
appeal is pending.
Mary L. Hatmaker, 31, a
recent widow, and her brothers Ricky and
John Saulsbury, 29 and 30, were briefly
held for psychiatric evaluation in Baltimore
on June 6, after police removed 63 animals
from their rat-and-roach-infested rowhouse
on Friday and returned Sunday to remove
22 more they had picked up in the interim..
The Promotion of Animal
Welfare Society in Paradise, California,
is donating several thousand dollars to the
Northwest Animal Shelter in Oroville,
which is close to insolvency due to the cost
of keeping animals in a series of cases
involving poodle breeder/collectors Don
and Charlotte Speegle. On May 18, two
weeks after Charlotte Speegle sued the
NWSPCA and Butte County Animal
Control in federal court for alleged crimi-
nal conspiracy to put her out of business,
the shelter sued the Speegles for $301,000
in civil fines and exemplary damages.
Dogs & Crime
Murphy, a three-year-old golden
retriever, is Illinois’ star witness against
Helmut Hofer, 25, charged on May 10 with
allegedly bludgeoning Suzanne Olds, 56, of
Wilmette, last December. Hofer is described
as a “business partner and frequent social com-
panion” of the victim’s estranged husband,
Dean Olds, 64. Dean and Suzanne Olds were
in the midst of a bitter divorce. The state con-
tends that bite scars on Hofer match Murphy’s
tooth pattern. After unsuccessfully defending
the victim, Murphy guarded her body until the
crime was discovered.
A 13-year-old boy was charged June
1 with shotgunning a nine-year-old golden
retriever belonging to Joseph Ellis, 50, of
Holyoke, Massachusetts, as revenge for a
thwarted robbery attempt. One day before the
dog killing, police said, the suspect stole a
bicycle from a nine-year-old boy at knifepoint.
Aaron Wall, 19, and Michael
Leombruno, 20, of Ford Edward, New
York, were charged May 24 with felony
assault for setting a pit bull on Ernest Stanley
Jr.; Stanley, who suffered an arm injury, had
intervened when they allegedly set two pit
bulls on a cat. In the same small town, alleged
dogfighting trainer Michael E. Kelly was
allowed to plea-bargain a conditional release
on related drug charges four days later.
Another alleged Fort Edward dogfighter, Clay
Baudoux, 31, was given a similar plea bargain
release from felony counts earlier.
Former Pennsylvania SPCA driver
Alexander Thomas, 20, pleaded guilty on
June 2 to dog theft and dogfighting.
Sentencing was postponed.
Ending a case that titilated Paris,
French Foreign Legion veteran Stig Hoffner,
now bouncer for a Danish nightclub, was fined
$5,300 on June 8 and given a two-year sus-
pended jail term for setting an attack-trained
pit bull on karate teacher Raymond Gros last
May, after finding Gros in bed with his girl-
friend. The dog tore off Gros’ right cheek.
In Buenos Aires, Argentina,
building caretaker Jose Roberto Traverso was
charged June 1 with killing a man whose dog
urinated in a freshly cleaned doorway.
Meat became murder
Black roosters, the political sym-
bol of ousted president Kamuzu Banda,
were beheaded en masse in Blantyre, the cap-
ital of Malawi, on May 19. Coming after an
orderly election, the killings were not expect-
ed to presage genocide, unlike in Rwanda,
where years of symbolic animal killing flared
into ongoing massacres of humans in mid-
April. However, chicken-killing did become
human-killing in two other remote nations with
no food scarcity. On May 23 Cambodian sol-
diers Chan Thy, 28, and Chan Reaksmey, 20,
each drew 13 years in prison, while a third
soldier, Mil Chan Vibol, 19, got 10 years,
after killing a seven-year-old boy, a 54-year-
old farmer, and a 24-year-old policeman who
intervened when they tried to steal a chicken in
the village of Ban Teay. Then, circa June 19,
two Nicaraguan youths identified as J.L., 13,
and A.J., 14, were charged with the machete
murders of four children who caught the
youths stealing a pair of chickens from their
home in Pita village, Chontales province, and
threatened to tell their mother.
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