Dog-theft suspects plead not guilty |

Dog-theft suspects plead not guilty

A Nevada City mother and daughter accused of stealing a pair of show dogs pleaded not guilty Monday in Placer County Superior Court.

Deborah Lynn Finnegan, 47, and Brenna Lynn Finnegan, 20, each face two counts of grand theft of dog. They next appear for early-settlement conferences Jan. 28.

A third Nevada City woman, 40-year-old Sally Perrie, is scheduled to be arraigned on the same charges Friday, said Placer County Deputy District Attorney Tim Sands. A teen-age girl faces charges in juvenile court, he added.

The four are accused of taking two West Highland white terriers Nov. 1 from a Roseville man’s backyard. Stormy, a 9-year-old male champion, and Abby, an 8-month-old female, were recovered at the Finnegans’ home Dec. 5 after the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office received a tip.

Deborah Finnegan has hired Auburn lawyer Gary Fitzpatrick, while Brenna Finnegan requested a public defender, Sands said. Fitzpatrick and Perrie’s lawyer, Monica Lynch, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Grand theft of dog is classified as a specified misdemeanor under the penal code but can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor, Sands said. Prosecutors decided to charge the four with misdemeanors mainly because the dogs were recovered, he added.

The victim in the case, Chuck Grimes, said Tuesday that the Finnegans work for Perrie at a Roseville business. Grimes and Perrie became acquainted through the dog show world and even co-owned another Westie.

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