VIRGINIA BEACH — The owner of a Virginia Beach dog rescue was fined $750 after being convicted of illegally importing animals, including an American pit bull terrier that attacked and killed a 90-year-old woman.
On Wednesday, Forever Home Rescue and Rehabilitation Center owner Jamie Renee Cochran pleaded “nolo-contendere” to 10 misdemeanor counts of importing animals without proper certification, according to documents filed in Virginia Beach General District Court.
A plea of “nolo-contendere” is legally filed as a guilty plea by the courts. The plea means that while a defendant does not admit guilt, they recognize that the courts may find enough evidence against them for a conviction.
The charges against Cochran were filed in November 2017. They do not pertain to the May 31, 2017 death of Margaret Colvin, who was killed by a 1-year-old American pit bull terrier named Blue.
The charges strictly pertained to the illegal importation of animals “without having the appropriate medical certificates” for the animals, said Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney spokeswoman Macie Allen.
Documents filed in the Virginia Beach courts system shows that Blue was one of the animals whose paperwork was not complete when he was imported from New York City, Southside Daily reported.
A Virginia Beach General District Court judge did not sentence Cochran to any jail time in connection to the importation charges; however, she was fined $150 for each charge, with $75 suspended on each count.
That means Cochran will pay $750 in fines. She’s also banned from importing, adopting and rescuing companion animals for two years, Allen said.
Information for this article was taken from Southside Daily’s archives.