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Well-known lawyer defends teen in llama case

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2001

EAST LAKE -- Defense attorney Denis deVlaming has been retained to defend the younger of two East Lake residents accused of severely beating two pet llamas.

A Clearwater attorney who has represented numerous high-profile cases, deVlaming said he is representing Brandon R. Eldred, 17, at a "reduced rate" because he wants to make sure the teen gets a fair trial.

"In cases like this when the public's sentiment is so tremendous against the citizen, they are certainly entitled to be treated fairly," he said.

The Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office has said that Eldred, who is still in the county's juvenile detention center, will be charged as an adult with two counts of felony cruelty to animals and one count of trespass.

Investigators say Eldred and his friend Robert B. Pettyjohn II, 18, attacked two pet llamas with a golf club on Feb. 11, killing one llama and severely injuring another.

Pettyjohn was in the county jail Tuesday in lieu of $30,000 bail.

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