Convicted kennel owner wants out of jail

August 9, 2010 5:46:10 PM PDT
A former eastern Pennsylvania kennel owner is seeking release from jail midway through his sentence on animal cruelty charges.

Forty-two-year-old Derbe Eckhart began serving a sentence of six to 23 months on May 18. His attorney, Jeffrey Conrad, said Monday the term was too harsh and probation would have been more appropriate.

If the sentence stands, Conrad is asking Lehigh County Judge Robert Steinberg to set bail so that Eckhart can be freed pending a ruling on an appeal of the conviction. He said his client is not a flight risk because he has family and loved ones in the area. Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Gallagher is opposing the motions.

A jury convicted Eckhart in March of animal cruelty and violating an order barring him from taking new dogs into his Almost Heaven kennel in Upper Milford Township. Last month, he was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to assaulting a guard four days after entering jail.

Information from: The Morning Call


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