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Reston Zoo Director Has Circuit Court Date

Meghan Mogensen, found guilty in Fairfax County General District Court in September, will have Circuit Court hearing Nov. 15.

Meghan Mogensen, the Reston Zoo director found guilty of animal cruelty and possessing a controlled substance in a Fairfax County General District Court bench trial in September, will return to court later this month.

Because Mogensen and her attorney Caleb Kershner are appealing the verdict, Mogensen will have a new trial at 10 a.m. Nov. 15 in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

Mogensen was charged with the misdemeanors earlier this year after a former employee at the zoo said Mogensen inhumanely euthanized an injured wallaby in January.

The employee said Mogensen put the wallaby, named Parmesan, to death by drowning it in a bucket of water. Mogensen said she humanely euthanized the wallaby by lethal injection. An investigation found no evidence of a drug injection, and also that Mogensen and the zoo were not authorized to possess those drugs.

Nearly two dozen witnesses - from zoo employees to veterinary forensic experts to fingerprint analysts - were called to the stand in the General District Court trial.

Judge Ian O'Flaherty sentenced Mogensen 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.

Mogensen, who lives in Silver Spring, did not speak in her own defense nor did she comment when the judge asked if she had anything to say upon sentencing.  

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