Reston Zoo Director's Appeal Date Postponed
Fairfax County Circuit Court hearing for Reston Zoo director Meghan Mogensen, who was found guilty of animal cruelty and drug possession in September, continued until February.
Meghan Mogensen was found guilty on both charges in county General District Court in September. She was scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on Thursday.
The charges stem from an incident in January, in which an injured wallaby at the petting zoo was euthanized. Mogensen maintains she humanely put the animal down with a lethal injection.
However, a disgruntled zoo employee called authorities after she says Mogensen, whose father is the zoo's owner, drowned the animal in a bucket and threw his body in a dumpster.
After a one-day bench trial in which nearly two dozen veterinary and forensic experts were called to testify, Judge Ian O'Flaherty sentenced Mogensen, 27, to a $1,000 fine and 30 days in jail on the animal cruelty charge and a $250 fine and suspension of her driver's license for six months on the drug count. Both of the charges are misdemeanors.
Experts said they were unsure how exactly the wallaby, named Parmesan, died. But they found no evidence of a drug injection, and the zoo was not authorized to possess the Ketamine found on the premises anyway.
Because Mogensen and her attorney Caleb Kershner are appealing the verdict, the case now moves to Circuit Court.
To read all stories related to this case, click here.