Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Judge Rejects Motion to Dismiss Indictment in Death of Baby Bird

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Judge Rejects Motion to Dismiss Indictment in Death of Baby Bird

Article excerpt

A Superior Court judge on Thursday denied a motion to set aside the indictment of a former West Milford Public Works Department superintendent on charges of animal cruelty in a case involving the death of a baby bird he allegedly sprayed with a powerful weed killer.

As a result of the ruling by Judge Scott Bennion, the former supervisor, Carlos Luaces, moves closer to a trial that could result in a maximum penalty of a $15,000 fine and up to five years in prison if he is found guilty.

The judge set a date of Feb. 23 for a pretrial conference between defense lawyer Gary Kraemer and Passaic County Assistant Prosecutor Paul Roby to see if the charge can be resolved with a plea agreement.

Kraemer argued that the prosecutor had failed to give the grand jury sufficient evidence to support the indictment, saying that there was no indication Luaces was aware that the weed killer, Ranger Pro, was known to be harmful to birds. …

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