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Waste not

Here’s the scoop on the poop. The dog poop case in Fairfax, that is.

In Fairfax yesterday, a woman charged with violating a county pooper-scooper ordinance was found not guilty by a jury after a day-long trial.

Why did this case take a full day of court time and require the empanelling of a jury? The woman, Kimberly Zakrzewski, missed a court date in general district court in June. The charge is a misdemeanor; she was found guilty in her absence and fined $250. She appealed to circuit court, according to the Washington Post.

At the center of the case is a dog named Baxter, a small, white Westie-bichon frise mix. Zakrzewski is a stay-at-home mom who sometimes cares for the pooch.

Zakrzewski was the target of a complaint by two neighbors, the Cornell sisters, Virginia and Christine, The Cornells and Zakrzewski have feuded for some time, the Post reported. On the witness stand, Christine Cornell accused Zakrzewksi of routinely leaving Baxter’s piles behind at their condo complex near Route 50. She said one day she followed the dog and Zakwrezski, snapping pictures.

Zakrzewski denied the allegations, saying she always carries a baggie with her to clean up Baxter’s mess.

This isn’t the first time the Cornells and Zakrzewski have squared off in court: In 2008 the sisters filed a criminal complaint charging their neighbor with reckless driving through their condo complex. A jury found Zakrzewski not guilty.

In yesterday’s proceeding, a defense picture of what the Cornells said was Baxter’s waste product prompted an exchange between Kosa So, Zakrzewski’s lawyer and Michelle Berman, Baxter’s owner.

So asked, “Is this consistent with the stool Baxter creates?”

Berman said, “I’ve never seen anything that big come out of my little dog.” Baxter weighs 19 pounds.

Berman also told presiding Judge Jane Marum Roush that she had brought a baggie with Baxter’s waste as potential evidence, but she left it in the car.

“I don’t think you would have gotten through security,” Roush deadpanned.

After a day of testimony, the end of this tale was quick: The jury was out for less than 20 minutes: Not guilty.

- Paul Fletcher

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