By Janene Scully, Noozhawk North County Editor

The Santa Barbara County Superior Court trial for the operator of a Solvang animal rescue facility facing eight misdemeanor charges has been postponed.

On Thursday afternoon, Judge John McGregor vacated the planned Monday start for the trial of Julia Di Sieno, 57, who runs the nonprofit Animal Rescue Team on Carriage Drive land outside the city limit.

The judge also set new dates for May.

Di Sieno initially faced two stalking charges and two counts of making criminal threats in the first case filed in December.

Another four misdemeanor charges — unlawful Firearms Act violation of restraining order, possession of a deadly weapon, and two contempt-of-court counts — were filed in late February after DiSieno allegedly failed to turn over firearms as ordered by a judge.

During Thursday’s brief hearing, the judge ordered her to return May 10 for a trial confirmation conference and set May 14 as the new trial date.

“Hopefully you can resolve your discovery issues by then,” McGregor said.

The April 23 trial start had been doubtful due to a homicide trial that also has been set to start on that date in McGregor’s courtroom.

Di Sieno also waived time for a speedy trial through May.

Her attorney is Kevin Dubrall, while Deputy District Attorney Steven Li is leading the prosecution team.

Di Sieno could face a possible ninth charge stemming from an incident in late March when she was arrested for allegedly using her vehicle to assault a neighbor in the parking lot of El Rancho Marketplace, at 2886 Mission Drive.

After the victim got out of his car, Di Sieno drove her truck toward him, allegedly striking him on the shoulder with the vehicle’s side mirror, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Deputies arrested Di Sieno hours after the incident.

During the investigation, video evidence and witness statements corroborated the victim’s account of what occurred, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at