Thursday, May 13, 2021

Warren asks for, receives new public defender

Editor | May 4, 2021 7:00 AM

The adjudication hearing of a woman accused of breaking the terms of her suspended sentence by owning animals was postponed last month after she sought a new defense attorney.

Cathie Iris Warren, also known as Cathie Iris Odegaard, claimed ineffective counsel before the court on April 20. She cited a conflict of interest, according to court documents.

Warren is back before the court for allegedly caring for and raising animals while on probation. A jury found her guilty of three counts of aggravated animal cruelty, four counts of cruelty to animals and a single misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals, second or subsequent offense in 2017.

As part of her sentence, Warren was barred from owning animals. She forfeited the animals seized by authorities after they searched her home and kennel in 2016.

According to a report filed by her probation officer, Steve Watson, Warren considers the ban on pet ownership for the duration of her sentence unconstitutional. He described her as becoming increasingly “irrational” regarding the circumstances.

During a March 9 search of her home, Watson said authorities found evidence that Warren was breeding goats, caring for chickens and feeding various rabbits and cats that wandered through her yard.

They also found a dog that Warren allegedly claimed as a service animal.

“She made it clear that I am violating her constitutional rights by not allowing her to have a service dog,” Watson wrote.

During Warren’s March 22 revocation hearing, her then-defense attorney Jessica Polan asked for a month to prepare for adjudication. Deputy County Attorney Jeffrey Zwang requested for a hearing as quickly as possible, citing the cost of tending to the new menagerie of animals seized from her property.

“There are now a number of animals the state has to arrange care for again because of this matter,” Zwang said.

At the April 20 hearing, Cuffe granted Warren’s request for reappointment of counsel. Scott B. Johnson is now serving as her defense attorney.

A new time for an adjudication hearing has not yet been set.