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posted: 7/14/2014 1:01 AM

Court upholds forfeiture of 8 horses in Crystal Lake abuse case

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An appellate court recently upheld the seizure and forfeiture of eight horses from a Crystal Lake woman accused of abusing and neglecting the animals.

Jamie Koy, 40, of the 6100 block of Hillside Drive, Crystal Lake, had argued that the Humane Care for Animals Act under which the horses were seized is unconstitutional.

She contended authorities violated her Sixth Amendment right to due process after a judge ordered her horses seized even through she had not been convicted of charges lodged against her in 2013.

Koy first was arrested in fall 2010 and charged with misdemeanor animal abuse after authorities said they found 14 malnourished and poorly cared for horses on her property. In 2011, she received probation after being convicted of eight counts of cruelty.

As part of her probation, authorities on May 1, 2013, visited the Clover Hill Stable in Crystal Lake and seized eight horses. A judge granted the state's motion to have the horses forfeited after an expert testified they were in worse condition than a December 2012 visit.

The appellate panel reasoned the seizure and forfeiture of the horses was an action taken out of civil court separate from the criminal charges against her. "In order to convict Koy, the state must still proceed at trial to prove that she committed the alleged offenses beyond a reasonable doubt. (The Humane Care for Animals Act) allows the state to take action before trial, not to punish her but rather, in the spirit of the act, to ensure the well-being and continued recovery of the injured animals," the court wrote in part of its ruling.

Koy pleaded not guilty to the 2013 felony charges and is next due in court July 28. If convicted she faces up to three years in prison.

Defense attorney Michael Oppenheimer has maintained Koy's innocence.

Anti-DUI publication: The Schaumburg-based Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has released a new publication, "Standing in Traffic."

Written by Chicago author and attorney Lisa M. Lilly, it includes entries from a blog she began after her parents, Francis and Helen Lilly, were killed by a drunken driver.

Entries include her struggles to find peace, appreciation for values her parents taught her and a description of the criminal court proceedings.

Kate Lilly, granddaughter of Francis and Helen Lilly, designed the booklet's cover.

"Sometimes strangers emailed me after reading the blog to say no one around them understood how they felt after the death of a loved one, and reading my words made them feel less alone," Lisa Lilly said in a prepared statement from AAIM. "That's why AAIM thought it might be helpful to compile and publish the entries in a booklet."

AAIM will give the booklet to DUI victims, their friends and families. It is available through the AAIM office, on aaim1.org, or by calling (847) 240-0027.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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