Saturday, January 23, 2010

Elizabeth Brown - Joliet, Illinois

JOLIET -- A woman who pleaded guilty last month to abusing animals is back in the Will County Jail.

Elizabeth Brown, 64, of Paxton, disobeyed the orders of Judge Richard Schoenstedt.

And when Will County Assistant State's Attorney Nicole Moore learned that Brown still owned pets and was late for an appointment with her probation officer, she asked the court to do something about it.

18 dogs, 10 cats
Brown was arrested Jan. 25, 2008, by Will County police and charged with cruelty to animals, a felony.

A few days before her arrest and on one of the coldest days of the year, humane society investigators and Will County police seized 18 starving dogs -- animals that belonged to Brown -- from two locations. Most were in an unheated barn in Manhattan Township, and the others were in the yard of an empty house Brown owned on Loganberry Lane in Joliet Township.

The animals were starving, thirsty and dirty. One dog lost part of an ear to frostbite. Another had a baseball-sized tumor and glaucoma.

Authorities later removed 10 cats from inside the same unheated Joliet Township home.

Brown has a history of hoarding animals and has been charged and convicted of similar crimes in other Illinois counties.

Probation deal
On Sept. 25, Brown pleaded guilty, and the judge gave her probation.

Brown received that sentence because the dogs and cats were adopted by owners who now loved them, the judge said.

But Schoenstedt warned the woman that she couldn't have any pets of any kind. He also told her to report to her probation officer Sept. 28, warning Brown that if she didn't, he would send her back to jail and reconsider his decision.

Then Moore learned that Brown actually owned two cats at the time of her Sept. 25 sentencing hearing and didn't tell the judge.

And at the time of that hearing, Brown was the subject of a criminal investigation in Ford County, Moore wrote in documents that were filed in Will County court.

On Sept. 30, Brown was arrested in Ford County on charges of cruelty to animals and obstruction of justice, according to court documents.

"At least one of the offenses in these charges occurred after her sentencing date of Sept. 25," according to court documents..." More