The Bristol County district attorney says that due to budget constraints, his office won't appeal a judge's decision nullifying the conviction of a man who allegedly ran over a mother duck leading her ducklings through a mall parking lot.
"If this was a different time, we would appeal this decision in a heartbeat. But the reality is that my office is dealing with a $700,000 cut during this fiscal year to its budget and we are down seven positions due to those cuts," District Attorney Samuel C. Sutter said in a statement issued Wednesday.
Joshua Linhares, 26, was convicted in late 2009 of animal cruelty for running over the duck in the parking lot at the Dartmouth Mall.
Linhares was convicted by a jury and sentenced to one year of probation, but a judge later changed the sentence to a $250 fine and then decided to nullify the conviction, said district attorney's spokesman Gregg Miliote.
"We, like virtually all governmental agencies, find ourselves in an era of limits," Sutter said.
Sutter said he believed the crime alleged against Linhares was still "a despicable act of inexcusable and irrational cruelty to an animal. The jury spoke and found the defendant guilty, and the judge’s actions, while eminently appealable, will have to go unchallenged in this instance."
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