Thursday, December 10, 2009


I am angry this morning. I am angry with Abby Toll and her attorney. Abby Toll is the 20-year-old ex-CU student (now attending college in Chicago) who got angry with her boyfriend, and when he went into the bathroom, she attacked his dog. Rex, the dog, was wrapped in duct tape; his legs, paws, tail, ears, and muzzle were encircled with tight rubber bands; and he was then taped, upside down, on the refrigerator door for more than 2 hours before being rescued by the police and animal welfare workers. Yesterday Toll pleaded in court that she suffered from an “impaired mental condition” that excuses her behavior. Toll's defense attorney, George Kokus, has argued that his client should be allowed to use the mental defense at trial because she was an “ongoing victim of domestic violence,” putting her in a mental state that either justifies, excuses or mitigates her actions. For someone to plead an impaired mental condition means, in essence, that the person admits to doing the criminal act but was incapable of knowing what he or she was doing at the time of an alleged crime, according to deputy district attorney David Cheval. Cheval asked the judge not to allow any testimony at trial related to Toll's mental health because the defense has not shown “good cause” for the argument. “If the defendant intends to plead insanity as a defense, or introduce any evidence in the nature of expert opinion regarding her mental health ... the people request that the defendant show good cause for not raising the issue when entering her plea on June 26,” Cheval wrote in his motion. Toll will be undergoing psychological testing, with the results due back to the court in February. - Why am I angry? I think it's because of the "impaired mental condition" plea. I have been treated for my depression and seen (albeit by Psych students writing papers for their PhDs while I was in high school) since 1972 for my "troubled mind." I admit that the original reports in the local newspaper about Rex and his ordeal included neighbors stating that Toll and her boyfriend frequently shouted abuse at each other. But I really feel that they are reaching for an excuse - any excuse - to allow her to escape punishment for torturing this poor dog.

We were under another Wind Chill Warning last night - we had winds with gusts up to 62 mph. One such gust wrapped around the apartment building, rattling all the windows and shaking the patio door a few minutes before 1 this morning. It was strong enough to wake me up, and to move the screen door more than a foot in its tracks. Of course, it also completely covered the patio with snow again. We hope to be in the mid-20s today, and to reach freezing tomorrow. The good news is that we should be in the 40s (our normal high temperatures for this time of year) over the weekend and into next week. Banichi declined to even poke his head out of the patio door this morning, while Lovey vocalized quite a bit (complaining, I'm sure) before going out and prowling the patio perimeter, before returning to bed and cleaning her tootsies. The Wind Chill Warning runs through 11 this morning, and we have a Blowing Snow Advisory in effect, as well. I plan on taking the Rs out around 1 this afternoon for a short romp with Suki and Boo. - I've read 5 of the 6 new books I have, so I'll need to visit the library again soon. And I have most of my "to be sent" Christmas items wrapped and in their boxes for shipping. Now I just have to get them either to the P. O. or to PacMail, while I put my cards into the out-going mail box in the lobby.

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