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'Case is ridiculous,' says lawyer for peacock killer

By Nelson Daranciang

LAST UPDATED: 10:53 p.m. HST, Jan 20, 2011


» The last name of witness Michael Targgart was misspelled in an earlier version of this article.


A Makaha Valley Towers condominium owner who used a baseball bat to bludgeon a peacock to death should not be on trial because peafowl are pests and the state doesn't require a permit to kill them, her attorney told jurors yesterday.

Sandra Maloney, 70, is on trial in Circuit Court, charged with second-degree cruelty to animals for killing a peacock on May 17, 2009. The crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Her lawyer, Earle Partington, told the jury in opening statements that Maloney shouldn't even be on trial.

"This case is ridiculous and you should so find when you go into your deliberations," he said.

About a year before Maloney admittedly killed the noisy peacock outside her condo, she asked one of the condominium association board members why the board was not doing anything to get rid of the peafowl in the valley, the board member testified.

Michael Targgart said he told Maloney the board was not going to do anything about the birds and that if she didn't like it, she should move.

Jane Ebert testified she saw Maloney hit a peacock with a baseball bat and then drag it by the tail into the bushes.

Targgart said he saw the peacock in the bushes, then a half-hour later saw it on the sidewalk at the top of a stairway nearby struggling to move.

"It was just making weird noises and kind of tried to lift its head up. But its eye was smashed out so it was just moving its head around," Targgart said.

He said the bird tumbled down one stair, struggled, tumbled down another stair, and struggled some more until it finally hit the bottom of the stairs.

Partington asked the judge to stop the prosecutor from asking Targgart what happened on each and every stair.

"Your honor, I think this issue has been beaten to death," he said.

Circuit Judge Michael Wilson refused Partington's request and allowed the prosecutor to continue his questioning of Targgart.

The trial continues today with testimony from defense witnesses.

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