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PETA trial begins Monday

WINTON – The trial involving two PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) employees arrested 18 months ago is scheduled to begin Monday in Hertford County Superior Court.

The court case has been postponed several times due to legal maneuverings on both sides.

The case involves several charges lodged against Andrew Benjamin Cook of Virginia Beach, Va. and Adria Joy Hinkle of Norfolk, Va. The PETA employees were arrested June 15, 2005 in Ahoskie after allegedly euthanizing 31 animals (dogs and cats) and dumping the dead bodies into a waste container located behind an Ahoskie grocery store.

Cook and Hinkle face 22 felony counts each of cruelty to animals as well as one count of illegal dumping and misdemeanor trespassing charges.

In addition, new charges were filed in October of last year as both Cook and Hinkle were accused of three counts of obtaining property by false pretense.

Those charges stem from the three cats/kittens allegedly picked-up by the pair on June 15, 2005 from Ahoskie Animal Hospital.

District 6B Attorney Valerie Mitchell Asbell will prosecute the case on behalf of the state.

Resident Superior Court Judge Cy Grant will preside over the trial.

Hinkle is being represented by Rich Square attorney Jack Warmack and Blair Brown of Washington, DC. Cook’s general counsel is Mark Edwards of Durham.