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La Salle County’s lead prosecutor upset at eaglet verdict

Posted by wlpo on February 27, 2015

Can you be an animal lover and still disagree with the decision to find eagle handler Steve Patterson not guilty?

La Salle County State’s Attorney Brian Towne says he’s an animal lover but he also took an oath to uphold the law. While he respects the jury’s verdict, he says he’s deeply saddened and disappointed by how the trial played out.

Towne says the “necessity defense” argument that swayed the jury shouldn’t have even been in play because it applies to humans not animals. He’s also upset that testimony and evidence including random eagle pictures were allowed by Judge Dan Bute in the retrial after he said they were irrelevant during the first trial.

Towne thinks the jury acted on human emotion instead of following the law and believes the decision creates a slippery slope of allowing Patterson and others to decide what’s best for nature.

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