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'Ordeal' over for woman whose birds were seized in TWRA raid

Prosecutors drop all charges and birds are returned
Birds Seized Lamar.jpg
Posted at 1:51 PM, Jan 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-31 00:08:45-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Prosecutors have dropped all charges against a woman whose birds of prey were seized by the Tennessee Wildlife and Resources Agency.

It is a big victory for Holly Lamar who operates a "bird experience" business in Davidson County.

TWRA agents raided Lamar's property in August and seized 13 birds, including falcons and an owl.

The search warrant indicated Lamar did not have proper permits.

NewsChannel 5 Investigates first reported that one of her prized falcons died in TWRA custody over Christmas.

After the falcon's death, Davidson County Judge Lynda Jones blasted TWRA for its handling of the case and called the seizure illegal.

Judge Jones threw out the search warrant that agents used and demanded that TWRA return all of Lamar's birds earlier this month.

The judge further said that Lamar may have a case for malicious prosecution and said the state's permitting laws were vague and hard to understand.

In court today, prosecutors dropped all 30 misdemeanor charges against Lamar.

"We are pleased that Holly has finally been vindicated and agree with Judge Jones that Holly's constitutional rights were violated. It is unfortunate that Holly and her birds were put through this ordeal. We are exploring all available remedies to compensate Holly for what she has lost, and to ensure nothing like this happens again," said Ben Raybin, who is Lamar's attorney.

TWRA said in a statement earlier this month that they were investigating why the falcon died.

The agency said the birds were well cared for by trained rehabbers.

Lamar now has all of her birds back on her property.