Aurora man wants animal cruelty charges tossed out

Updated 5/27/2011 2:32 PM
  • Phillip Rinn

    Phillip Rinn

An Aurora man who was convicted in 1993 of dragging his dog to death and now facing charges he knocked out five of his dog's teeth, wants a judge to throw out his November 2010 arrest.

Phillip Rinn faces felony animal cruelty charges that carry a maximum prison term of three years, but probation also is an option.

Rinn's attorney, Ned Khan, filed a motion Friday seeking to throw out his client's arrest and suppress evidence that, if granted, would essentially torpedo the state's case.

Khan argues that Rinn's Fourth Amendment rights were violated and that he was coerced the night of Nov. 15 to agree to a search after Kane County sheriff's deputies were called to Rinn's home in the 300 block of Kendall Street.

The motion states that Rinn was shirtless when officers handcuffed him and refused to allow Rinn back into his home to get a shirt and lock up unless he signed a form allowing deputies to search the home itself.

Khan also contends that deputies arrested Rinn before talking to any witnesses.

"Therefore, all evidence found in the search is fruit of the poisonous tree of the tainted consent to search," the motion argues.

Judge Timothy Sheldon will hear oral arguments on the matter Sept. 1.

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, Rinn is accused of hitting Magda, a 1-year-old Labrador retriever-German shepherd mix, so hard that he broke five of the dog's teeth.

In mid-January, the dog was placed in a permanent, adoptive home and has recovered from its injuries. A judge has ruled Rinn has no right to get the dog back.

If convicted in the case, Rinn also could be ordered to pay restitution to the county for the dog's care, which officials estimate to be $2,600.