Bond posted for convicted dog killer will be divided

Updated 12/12/2011 1:54 PM
  • Diane Eldrup, who was convicted of animal cruelty, after 30 dogs died at her Muddy Paws Dog Rescue in Deer Park.

    Diane Eldrup, who was convicted of animal cruelty, after 30 dogs died at her Muddy Paws Dog Rescue in Deer Park.

A Lake County judge said Monday the $25,000 posted for Diane Eldrup shortly after her arrest on animal cruelty charges will be split between several claimants in the wake of her conviction.

Eldrup, 48, was convicted in September of animal torture and aggravated cruelty to animals for allowing 30 dogs, three birds and an opossum to die of starvation at the Muddy Paws Dog Rescue she owned in Deer Park.

Eldrup was arrested in December 2010 and a friend posted $25,000 in cash for her bond within hours of her original court appearance.

A prosecutor, Eldrup's defense attorney and a lawyer for her estranged husband gathered Monday before Circuit Judge James Booras to present a variety of claims for the money.

Assistant State's Attorney Suzanne Willett told Booras $6,034 has already been subtracted from the bond to pay Eldrup's court costs.

Willett asked that $2,160 be given to the village of Deer Park and $1,831 go to the Lake County Health Department to cover their expenses in dealing with the case.

Defense attorney John Curnyn said he would not object on his client's behalf to those two payments and also requested $5,000 for his fees in the case.

Waukegan attorney John Joanem, who represents Eldrup's husband in divorce proceedings, asked Booras to allocate funds from the bond to cover back child support payments Eldrup owes the couple's 9-year-old son and to fund a trust account for the boy established by a family court judge.

Joanem said he estimated Eldrup was 35 weeks behind in her court-ordered payments of $58 per week and asked that an additional $10,000 be deposited in the trust account.

Curnyn objected to both those requests, saying he believed his client was closer to $1,000 behind in her child support than the $2,030 Joanem projected.

Curnyn also said he believed funding of the trust account was a matter better left to the family court judge.

Booras said he was reluctant to "Turn his court into a family court," and told Joanem and Curnyn to resolve the back child support issue between themselves.

He granted Willett's requests for the restitution, Curnyn's request for fees and said any money left over after the back child support issue was settled should be deposited in the trust account.

Also on Monday, Booras reaffirmed his decision from a hearing earlier this month saying Eldrup could continue working in the home of an elderly Des Plaines couple but was not to be left alone with the man who suffers from dementia.

Curnyn said his client's job at the home was a temporary one and was likely to end sometime around Christmas.

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