An Aurora man convicted in 1993 of dragging his dog to death argued Thursday to have a judge throw out his arrest last year on charges he beat his dog and knocked out five of its teeth.
Kane County Judge Timothy Sheldon didn't immediately rule on the motion by Phillip Rinn because a witness called by Rinn's defense attorney failed to show in court.
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Rinn is accused of hitting Magda, a 1-year-old Labrador retriever-German shepherd mix, so hard he broke five of the dog's teeth.
If convicted of felony animal cruelty charges, Rinn faces up to three years in prison, but probation also is an option.
Defense attorney Ned Khan has argued that Rinn's constitutional rights were violated during his Nov. 15, 2010 arrest outside his home in the 300 block of Kendall Street.
In court filings this spring, Khan argued that the 32-year-old Rinn was shirtless when officers handcuffed him and refused to allow him back into the home to get a shirt unless he signed a form allowing deputies to search inside.
Authorities called to testify Thursday told a different story.
Kane County Sheriff's Deputy Keith Gardner testified he was the first officer on the scene after a neighbor called 911 complaining a man was yelling at and beating his dog.
"As I pulled into the driveway of the residence, the yelling stopped," testified Gardner, who noted he also saw a naked Rinn run inside the home.
Gardner rang the doorbell several times and Rinn, sweaty and wearing shorts, answered and came outside. Gardner also saw a broken broom handle inside and Rinn said the dog broke a chair.
Gardner also saw a dog on the ground, its face scratched and bloodied, and arrested Rinn. It was cold out, so Gardner offered Rinn a blanket he refused.
Gardner said Rinn never complained he was cold but wanted to go inside and get a shirt. Gardner said that would be fine, but an officer would have to go with since he was under arrest and technically in police custody. Gardner said authorities were in the process of getting a search warrant as well.
Sheriff's Deputy Nick Wolf also testified Rinn never said he was cold and took a "considerable" amount of time to sign the consent form to allow officers to search inside.
Both sides are due in court again Oct. 6 and it's possible Sheldon will rule then on whether to throw out the arrest as well as evidence from the search.
In 1993, Rinn was found guilty of dragging a chained dog behind his car and killing it. He served 30 days in the county jail and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.
In the current case, the dog is in a permanent, adoptive home and has recovered from its injuries. Another judge has ruled Rinn has no right to get the dog back.
If convicted, Rinn also could be ordered to pay restitution to the county for the dog's care, which officials estimate to be $2,600.