Animal cruelty case returns to court Thursday
A hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning in Obion County General Sessions Court for an Obion County couple whose animal cruelty case was continued back in August after a judge accepted an agreement between the prosecution and the defense.
James and Mary Jo Fair of Minnick-Elbridge Road were each charged last summer with 10 counts of cruelty to animals following an investigation launched by the Gibson-Obion County Humane Society, ASPCA, with the seizure of more than 100 dogs from their residence.
The Fairs were scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing Aug. 2, 2007, in General Sessions Court, but a recommendation from District Attorney General Tommy Thomas’ office was instead presented to the court. As a result, the Fairs’ case was continued for six months, with one of the conditions being that their veterinarian, Dr. Bob Page of Dresden, agreed to inspect the dogs and their housing at least every 60 days, if not more often. The dogs were released to the Fairs and their veterinarian.
At the end of the six-month period, the veterinarian’s written findings were to be submitted to the court for review and the case against the Fairs could be dismissed if Page certifies the animals are healthy and being provided reasonable care.
The Fairs’ attorney, Jim Powell, told the court during the August 2007 action that he and the Fairs agreed with the state’s recommendation in order to bring the matter to an end, with the stipulation that the Fairs were not admitting any guilt or wrongdoing in the case.
Obion County General Sessions Judge Raymond Morris accepted the recommended agreement in the Fairs’ case “in the interest of justice” and continued the case until Jan. 10 — this Thursday — at 9 a.m. Morris also said in court that he expected some reports from the veterinarian.