You may remember Bonnie Bradshaw, the woman who freed a raccoon she believed was overheated and dying in a live trap at a Richardson apartment complex. On that sweltering June afternoon, she thought she was doing the work of a Good Samaritan when she took the animal home, nursed it back to health and confiscated two traps. Instead, she got a summons for attempted theft when their owner pressed charges.
At a jury trial in Richardson Municipal Court this morning, Bradshaw's attorney, Randy Turner (yes, that Randy Turner) tells Unfair Park the prosecution's heart just wasn't in this one. After pleading its case against his client, Turner made a motion for a directed verdict on the basis that there was no intent on Bradshaw's part to actually steal Critter Catcher owner Lon Menefee's traps. The judge granted the motion, and both Turner and Bradshaw said the supporter-packed audience erupted in cheers and applause like a scene straight out of a bad courtroom drama.
"On the one hand, you could look at this and say it was a tremendous waste of tax dollars and a waste of time and effort," Bradshaw said, referring to the trial. "But it was an incredible opportunity for the general public to see how cruel these traps are. As a wildlife rehabilitator, we see horrible injuries in those traps on a regular basis." Asked if she would do the same thing again if she came across another animal in distress, Bradshaw replied, "You bet."
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No word on the animal cruelty charges against Menefee. His pretrial hearing is scheduled for Monday. He didn't respond by the time of this posting, but we'll update when we hear from him.