Linhares moves closer to trial

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Vineyard Haven attorney Casey Dobel, who represents a man accused of abusing his dog, made an appearance in Edgartown District Court Monday before Judge Benjamin Barnes for a status hearing.

During the summer, Jay Michael Linhares was accused of animal cruelty for allegedly “continuously kicking” his Australian cattle dog Max, among other abuses. Linhares was arrested by Edgartown Police on July 25, and charged with animal cruelty and disorderly conduct. He subsequently pleaded not guilty to those charges in Edgartown District Court. The whereabouts of Max following Linhares’ arrest, and who was to be his custodian, became convoluted, and the subject of inquiry by police and the court. Attorney Dobel told Judge Barnes she believed Max was presently in Rhode Island. 

“I believe right now the dog is in the custody of a friend in Providence,” Dobel said. She said it was “her understanding” police in Rhode Island confirmed the dog’s presence there, and have visited the dog’s custodian. She did not name the custodian. 

Barnes asked ADA Michael Preble what the stance of the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office was on the matter. 

“I hope it’s to resolve it, Judge,” Preble said. 

Dobel told Judge Barnes that ADA Matt Palazzolo, another prosecutor who’d worked in the case, had previously indicated “that he was not receptive to any resolution that ended with my client being able to keep the dog. My client is not open to any resolution that does not allow him to keep the dog.”

Barnes said he wanted the matter resolved swiftly.

Linhares’ next court date is slated for Feb. 12, with a trial expected shortly afterward.