A North Okanagan woman and her daughter have had their animal abuse-related charges case adjourned for one month.
Justice of the Peace Dalene Krenz granted the adjournment at the Vernon Law Courts Thursday morning at the request of defence lawyer Joe Deuling, who is waiting to receive disclosure files (evidence collected by the Crown and police) for the charges.
Carla Christman and her daughter, Chelsea Beluse-Christman, face charges including unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal and failing to provide necessities for an animal. Beluse-Christman was present at Thursday’s hearing while her mother was absent. Both were granted bail variances at their last court appearance on Aug. 14 allowing them to report to their bail supervisor over the phone.
None of the matters have been proven in court, and the charges have been adjourned numerous times over the last four months while evidence is being gathered.
Other charges were adjourned for two weeks, including charges against Beluse-Christman for mischief under $5,000 and for driving while prohibited/licence suspended.
A small group of protesters has regularly shown up to the courts whenever the Christmans have an appearance. A few members of the group were in the courtroom Thursday morning, although they did not hold a roadside rally as they’ve done in the past.
“We’ve been deemed guilty… and we don’t know what the Crown’s case is,” said Deuling, referring in the first instance to the protesters’ consistent presence at the courts, and in the second to the Crown’s as-yet-undisclosed evidence package.
The Christman’s next court date is Sept. 12, and on Sept. 26 at 9 a.m. they’ll appear again for their animal abuse charges.