Martinez v. State of Texas

48 S.W.3d 273 (2001)

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Martinez v. State of Texas

Texas Court of Appeals
48 S.W.3d 273 (2001)

Facts

Rudy Davila, an animal-cruelty investigator employed by the City of San Antonio, received an allegation of animal cruelty involving Andrea Martinez (defendant). At the time of the allegation, Martinez, who was an 83-year-old widow, was known for taking in stray animals and providing them with care. When Davila arrived at Martinez’s home to investigate the allegation, he found a dog outside of the home that appeared lethargic, malnourished, and to be suffering from a skin condition called parasitic sarcoptic mange, which resulted in complete hair loss and crusty skin. Martinez informed Davila that a friend had given Martinez the dog two years ago after the friend was unable to cure the dog’s parasitic sarcoptic mange . Davila determined that the dog needed to be taken to the city’s animal-control facility and took the dog with Martinez’s permission. A veterinarian examined the dog and determined that the dog needed to be euthanized. The State of Texas (plaintiff) charged Martinez with animal cruelty pursuant to Section 42.09(a)(2) of the Texas Penal Code. Section 42.09(a)(2) provided that a person is guilty of animal cruelty for intentionally and knowingly failing to provide an animal in her custody with necessary food, care, or shelter. At Martinez’s trial, Davila testified that Martinez did not provide reasonable care for the dog and did not treat the dog for its parasitic sarcoptic mange. The veterinarian also testified that Martinez had not provided the dog with adequate care and that, had Martinez provided the dog with the right treatment product, the dog’s parasitic sarcoptic mange would likely have been suppressed. The jury found Martinez guilty of animal cruelty. The trial court sentenced Martinez to two years of probation and 100 community-service hours. Martinez appealed on the ground that the evidence introduced did not prove that Martinez had intentionally or knowingly not provided the dog with necessary care.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rickhoff, J.)

Concurrence (Lopez, J.)

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