Antrim exotic animal abuse case goes to trial

Oct. 12 – BELLAIRE – A woman charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty has declined a plea offer.

“There will be a trial,” County Antrim Prosecutor James Rossiter told 13th Circuit Judge Thomas Power on Tuesday in what was previously scheduled as a plea hearing.

Brooklynn Beck, 28, of Central Lake, faces six felony charges in the 13th Circuit Court after law enforcement in April executed a search warrant at the Muckle Road home she was renting, discovering dead animals in a chest freezer as well as over 100 live ones. animals in unsanitary conditions, court records report.

Beck has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is free on $25,000 bond, 10% cash or bond, according to court records.

Beck was previously charged in a Grand Traverse County animal cruelty incident and arraigned in April on a single misdemeanor charge after officials said a small-breed dog died after being treated by Beck in an anonymous pet grooming business in Blair Township.

A previous request by Beck to access the deceased shih tzu’s veterinary records was denied by 13th Circuit Court Judge Thomas Power.

Complaints against another pet grooming business, House of Floof, in Central Lake, owned by Beck and her fiancé, Michael Turland, brought law enforcement to his Muckle Road home, according to the previous statements by County Antrim Sheriff Dan Bean.

County Antrim Animal Control has been dealing with the 106 animal officers seized from Beck since April 28, and Rossiter filed a petition in the 13th Circuit Court on September 28, asking Power to order forfeiture. animals.

A financial accounting filed with the court shows that by June the county had spent more than $15,000 caring for the seized animals.

A forfeiture order would allow animal control officers to reinstate the animals, according to court records, which include a Clydesdale horse, baby rabbits, two Sulcata tortoises, a bearded dragon, a monitor lizard, as well as cats, dogs, chickens and snakes.

Last week, Rossiter and Beck’s attorney, Mattias Johnson, agreed to adjourn any decision on the forfeiture motion because forfeiture would likely be included in the pending plea offer, court records show.

On Tuesday, however, Rossiter told Power the motion was back and asked that it be decided before trial, which court records show is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 24-27.

“Well, how long is this going to take?” Power asked, from the hearing of the motion.

“It could take two to three hours,” Rossiter said.

“A hearing of two to three hours? Power asked, expressing what sounded like surprise at Rossiter’s estimated length.

“I believe so, your honor,” Rossiter said, adding that he would check the availability of any witnesses he intended to call to testify.

Power said the court would seek to hear the matter as soon as possible, but would likely not find a free date until next week.

Beck, in response to Johnson’s forfeiture motion filed Oct. 4, denied that the live animals seized from his property were in poor condition.

Rossiter, at a July 18 planning conference, moved to dismiss three of six counts of animal murder or torture and one count of abandonment or cruelty to more than 25 animals filed against Beck, in exchange for a guilty plea to three counts of murder or torture. torture, according to court records.

On October 6, Johnson said an updated offer from Rossiter would have dismissed four of six felony charges, in exchange for his client’s guilty plea to two counts of murder or torture. .

Denying the plea will move the case to trial where Beck, if found guilty on all charges, faces four to seven years in prison and fines of between $5,000 and $10,000, according to court records.

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