02/25/2010 12:00AM

Paragallo's animal cruelty trial delayed

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The trial of Ernie Paragallo on allegations of animal cruelty in Green County Court was delayed Wednesday until next Tuesday because of snowstorms in upstate New York and competing cases on the court's docket, according to reports and an attendee at the trial.

Paragallo, who was one of the leading owners in New York before being stripped of his racing privileges last year, is charged with 35 counts of animal cruelty based on allegations that horses on his Center Brook Farm in Climax, N.Y., were malnourished and infested with lice. Paragallo has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry a maximum penalty of two years in jail and a $35,000 fine.

Paragallo's attorney, Michael Howard, has contended that the horses were not deliberately underfed.

According to Joe Mahoney, a spokesman for the New York State Racing and Wagering Board who attended the first two days of the trial, the prosecution had called three witnesses and indicated that it would call another seven before the trial concludes.