Judge Excludes Testimony in Euthanasia Case

A Worcester County, Mass., District Court judge granted one request to eliminate testimony and postponed ruling on another in the case against Elliot Saffran, the Milford man charged last year with animal cruelty for refusing to euthanize his ailing 29-year-old mare, Quincy. The case goes to jury trial on Feb. 5.

During a Jan. 8 pre-trial hearing, Judge Thomas Sullivan accepted defense attorney Kevin Hayden's motion to exclude testimony that Saffran rejected veterinarians' advice to place the mare in hospice care on grounds that such care is unavailable in Massachusetts.

Sullivan did not rule on Hayden's motion to exclude a video tape documenting the mare's condition. The footage was filmed at Fairfield Equine Associates, the Connecticut hospital where the mare was maintained until her death last August.

"Hayden argued--and our assistant district attorney agreed--that the tape might depict the mare in worse condition than she was when Saffran was charged," said Worcester County District Attorney's Office spokesman Tim Connolly.

Hayden was unavailable for comment.

Sullivan will rule on the video evidence before the trial, Connolly said.

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About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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