Yates DA will handle depot case moving forward

In a surprise twist to the case involving two Seneca County men who are accused of setting traps, which resulted in a pet dog being killed in January — the Seneca County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed that they have recused themselves from the proceedings. The case has officially been turned over to the Yates County District Attorney’s Office. James W. Brown, 80, and Clint Moosman, 53, both of Seneca Falls were charged by the DEC with setting body-gripping traps larger than six inches. DEC representation says that the traps were not identified properly.Laurena Jensen was walking her 8-year-old yellow lab, Molly Rose, along the Seneca Army Depot fence in Romulus when the dog became entangled in one of those traps. The dog did not survive. Since then, the Jensen family, as well as representatives from PETA have pushed for steeper charges against Seneca Falls pair. The charges they currently face, carry a simple $250 fine — or 15-day incarceration per ticket. Many believe it would be a punishment unfitting of the crime committed. Over the winter, Melissa Lewis, the PETA representative assigned to this case told FingerLakes1.com that additional charges could be sought through the Agriculture and Markets Law. She explained that it’s the portion of the law that says it’s “illegal to unjustifiably injure or kill an animal regardless of intent.”She went on to point out that, “This is the law we’ve asked local and state officials including the DEC, Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s Office to charge. It’s a very straightforward law with very straightforward language and it’s baffling to us and much of the public that cruelty to animal charges were not filed right away.”Now though, the case has moved on to Yates County where it will be handled under Yates County District Attorney Valerie G. Gardner’s watch.Read more about this story here.FingerLakes1.com has reached out to the Yates County District Attorney’s Office for comment and will have more on this story as it develops.

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