UPDATED: 1:14 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26
Sentencing for Dawn Hamill, the owner of Dazzle's Painted Pastures Animal Rescue and Sanctuary who was found guilty this month of eight counts of violation of owner's duties, has been delayed for a week.
The sentencing will be Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Cook County Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulous' Markham courtroom after the judge has time to review a mitigation packet submitted Tuesday, Sept. 25, by defense attorney Purav Bhatt.
READ: Jury Finds Owner of Animal Rescue Guilty on 8 of 10 Charges
Bhatt told Patch in an interview after Tuesday's short hearing that the packet contains documents and letters of character references for Hamill—things that couldn't be admitted during Hamill's four-day trial.
Hamill was accused of eight misdemeanor counts of violation of owner's duties in connection to eight puppies reportedly found in cold, filthy conditions during a on her property. She was found guilty on those eight counts but the seven-man, five-woman jury found her not guilty on two other counts of animal cruelty, stemming from the discovery of a miniature horse and a Himalayan cat found dead on the property during the same raid.
Bhatt and Hamill have adamantly stressed that she was not found guilty of animal cruelty, which is the more serious of the charges.
"Those [cruelty] charges would have more significant jail time and penalties," Bhatt explained.
Bhatt and Hamill are also confident that the packet submitted of Hamill's achievements and recommendations from colleagues in the animal welfare industry will influence Demacopolous during sentencing.
"It will give the judge some insight into Dawn's character that wasn't heard during the trial," Bhatt said.
"I trust [Bhatt] fully," Hamill added. "He's looking out for my best interests."
Prosecutors Richard Stake Jr. and Sarah Naughton had painted Hamill as a selfish employer who neglected her animals, causing ill health and conditions. But Hamill's defense was that a former employee had brought new animals, overwhelming the property and she was in the process of getting the excess animals removed when officials raided her property.
READ: Follow the Case From Raid to Verdict in Our Special Section
Stake was in court Tuesday, but Naughton was absent. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Naughton was charged with misdemeanor battery and criminal trespassing after allegedly biting a man on the leg during a suspected drunken brawl outside a lingerie shop Saturday, Sept. 22.
At around 7:25 p.m., Naughton and Bradley Gould, 31, were asked to leave Taboo Tabou on Belmont Avenue because they were causing a disturbance and seemed drunk, the report stated.
Once outside, Gould shoved the manager of a neighboring store, and that's when Naughton allegedly bit the manager on the leg, the report continued. The bite broke skin, and the manager was treated at a hospital and released, according to the report.
A spokeswoman for Cook County State's Attorney's Office told the newspaper that Naughton has been placed on paid administrative leave and won't be allowed to litigate while her case is pending. The state's attorney's office also is doing its own internal investigation, according to the report.
A YouTube video of Naughton being taken in to custody by Chicago Police shows her calling the officers names and complaining that the handcuffs are hurting her. (Editor's note: The video is NSFW because it contains obscene language.)
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