Alleged animal abuser changes legal counsel, requests separate trials

Joseph LaRue, the former Grants Pass business owner who was charged with multiple felony counts of animal abuse, animal neglect, theft and marijuana-related crimes, appeared in court Feb. 2. At this appearance, he opted to withdraw his privately retained legal counsel in favor of a public defender. In the weeks before this occurred, however, LaRue’s attorney made several interesting motions that may impact future proceedings if they are granted.
On Jan. 20, a memorandum was issued by LaRue’s former attorney Michael J. Buseman that objected to the way that the defendant’s charges were listed as being separate from one another, citing multiple statutes to outline the reasons. Buseman then requested that the charges that are “of the same or similar character” be combined. This would effectively reduce the amount of charges that LaRue is facing, as there are presently 45 various felony and misdemeanor charges in this case.
Next, on Jan. 26, a related motion was made by Buseman requesting that the court specify which criminal acts belong to which charges in a separate pre-trial hearing. This was followed by another motion to divide LaRue’s charges into multiple trials. If accepted, this would mean that LaRue would be on trial in separate instances regarding the animal abuse, theft, and marijuana charges that he is currently facing.
This is why it came as a surprise when LaRue dismissed his attorney Feb. 2 in favor of a public defender. Although there were no decisions made regarding the memorandum and motions that had been issued by Buseman at this hearing, the issue was discussed and shall be decided upon eventually.
While Joseph LaRue is facing the charges that have been brought against him, his significant other and business partner Danielle Brown-LaRue remains at large despite facing 42 similar charges. The active warrant for her arrest is still very much in place. Despite this, Brown-LaRue has been publicly active on her Facebook account. In a post from Christmas Eve, Brown-LaRue stated that “with the raid of the dog park and our home we’re just trying to get through it,” adding that she and their children are getting through this time “with the love of their family.” On Jan. 31, Brown-LaRue made another post in which she was attempting to sell a yellow ATV for $4,000.