Animal cruelty charges against ex-chief reduced

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

A former Melrose police chief will face a single animal cruelty charge after a Magistrate Court judge ordered the prosecutor to dismiss six other charges, according to court records filed Thursday.

Records show Magistrate Judge Buddy Hall — who previously ordered the charges be prosecuted individually — based his decision on the fact due process deadlines will expire Wednesday and the court cannot accommodate seven trials before then.

Mike Trammell is scheduled for trial Wednesday on the remaining charge, records show.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Burrill believes the court overstepped its bounds by ordering her to dismiss charges against Trammell, records show.

She intends to move the remaining charges to district court, according to court records.

“The Magistrate Court failed to provide the state with trial dates for all seven counts prior to the (Wednesday) court ordered expiration date,” she wrote.

“The court has no authority to order the state to dismiss charges.”

Trammell, 37, was charged in October with seven counts of animal cruelty, which are misdemeanors. He is accused of shooting seven dogs, in some cases pets, in the course of his duties as police chief, records show.

Trammell resigned his position shortly after being charged.

Trammell’s attorney, Tye Harmon, could not be reached for comment.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Monday to discuss several other motions filed Thursday.

A special jury pool has been called for Wednesday’s trial.