Trial date adjourned and settlement in the works for two men accused of illegal trapping thought to have killed a pet dog

The case of two Seneca County men charged with illegal trapping at the former Seneca Army Depot remains unresolved as the defense and prosecutor work on settling the case out of court.

According to the office of Lora Tryon, an assistant Yates County district attorney, a bench trial that had been set for this month was adjourned while the parties discuss a settlement.

James W. Brown and Clint K. Moosman pleaded not guilty in March to charges involving body-gripping traps — one of which was alleged to have killed a pet dog along the fence of the former Seneca Army Depot. The men were charged after the death of the 8-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, Molly Rose, who was snared and then choked to death in a trap while on a leashed walk Jan. 7.

In July, defense attorney Stephen Ricci asked that the charges be dismissed. However, Romulus Town Justice Donald Greule ruled against dismissing the charges.

Ricci told the Messenger in July that none of the traps that Brown and Moosman set “are the traps that killed the dog.”

Laurena Jensen, a college student who works in Canandaigua, and her father, Brian Jensen, are keeping close tabs on the case and want justice for the death of their dog. Laurena said she is not upset that the case did not go to court. She is upset, however, that no one will tell her whether Molly was choked to death in one of the traps set by the men charged.

“What it comes down to is that someone killed my best friend and my favorite dog that I will never be able to get back, and it makes me very upset that no one is taking that part seriously,” Laurena said. “My biggest question is: If those two men did not set the trap that killed my dog, who did? And why isn't anybody doing anything to find that person, or why did they stop the investigation before they 100 percent knew who did it?”

Ricci did not return recent phone messages, and Tryon was unavailable to answer specific questions. The Messenger contacted the state Department of Environmental Conservation, and its law enforcement unit is expected to provide an update.