An animal rights worker accused of euthanizing animals in the back of a van and then dumping their bodies in a trash bin apologized on the witness stand Thursday in Hertford County.
Adria Hinkle testified she was supposed to bring the animals collected in Northeastern North Carolina back to Norfolk, Virginia, where the home office of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA is located, but she said the smell in the van had overwhelmed her in the past and that made it hard to drive home.
Hinkle testified that she along with her co-worker Andrew Cook decided instead to drop the animal carcasses into a bin behind a grocery store in Hertford County.
Hinkle said she regrets the decision and that it was disrespectful to the community.
Thursday afternoon, Judge Cy Grant threw out all felony charges against the pair, saying the state did not present sufficient evidence.
Hinkle and Cook now face misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.
Closing arguments will start Friday morning at 9:30.