The Nye County District Attorney’s case related to attorney Nancy Lord took another odd turn last week when it was continued to April 11.
Lord, charged with repeatedly violating county animal ordinances, said she now wants to represent herself in the case. A representative from the Nevada State Bar on March 9 said Lord’s status as a practicing attorney is active.
Lord’s former attorney, Tom Gibson, said he is no longer defending his former client.
“It got to the point where I thought she could actually do better for herself, coming up with some of the angles in legal theory that she wanted to use and we both decided it would be in her best interest if she represented herself from here on out,” Gibson said.
County code requires animal owners with more than five dogs or cats over the age of six months on any property to obtain a residential kennel permit, while anyone with more than 10 dogs or cats over the age of six months must obtain a commercial kennel permit.
A seemingly defiant Lord said she will not comply with the ordinance, which went into effect in October 2012.
“I don’t want to adhere to the animal ordinance regulations for a couple of reasons,” she said. “First of all, five dogs is way too little for me and I love all my dogs. Second of all, it wasn’t five dogs when I first moved to the property there, so I feel I have at least a grandfathered right to have all of them.”
Lord also said she thought the ordinance is invalid due to it not being clear for residents with multiple animals on their property.
“There is a vagueness in the ordinance because it says one person at a location,” she said. “So if I have a quad with four families living there, can they have five dogs for each family? If they can only have five dogs, what about an apartment complex with 150 units or what about a boarding house. It just doesn’t explain a lot of situations that this might apply to.”
Additionally, Lord said she is a very responsible longtime pet owner.
“They are all very well fed and taken care of,” she said. “They go to the veterinarian and the dogs are just fine, but there are just a lot of them.”
Though Lord would not definitively say exactly how many dogs she has on her Pechstein Road property, she did say there are at least five.
Last month, one of two of Lord’s horses died at the property.
Neighbors reported several of Lord’s dogs feasting on the animal’s carcass. Regarding the apparent gruesomeness of the act, Lord said her dogs were simply exhibiting typical canine behavior.
“As far as my dogs eating my dead horse, they do that because it’s perfectly natural,” she insisted. “Dogs will devour a dead animal. I came out and immediately tried to fence it off. I have looked it up since and it is absolutely normal. Dogs do that all the time.”
Moreover, Lord remarked the death of the horse was ‘suspicious.’
“I think the death of my horse was foul play because that horse was just fine,” she said. “I don’t know who is behind it, but that horse was just fine. I will say, that he was old and he was thin. He was about 23 or 24 so he still had a couple of years left. I don’t know if he was poisoned or not, but I took blood samples.”
Lord, along with co-defendant Lawrence Moore, are scheduled to return to court next month.
Gibson, meanwhile said she may encounter some problems related to self-representation during the hearing.
“She can’t represent her co-defendant Lawrence Moore because there would be a conflict because they are both defendants,” he said. “Although conflicts of interest can be waived by the parties upon stipulations.”
Lord also requested that Judge Kent Jasperson recuse himself from hearing the case. Lord said Jasperson has since barred her from his courtroom.
“Because of that, he has barred me from practicing law in his courtroom, which is fine with me,” she said. “I don’t do that much work in justice court anyway. He said that I lied on the day of the raid, now he is saying I cannot represent myself.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes