Fallbrook man's animal cruelty convictions upheld

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas. Publicado en News in English.



        Fallbrook man's animal cruelty convictions upheld

        VISTA ---- A state appeals court on Thursday upheld a Fallbrook man's animal cruelty convictions and used his case to establish a binding, legal precedent.

        Although all three judges on the appellate court panel that decided the case agreed that Manuel Alvarado's convictions should stand, the judges split 2-1 in deciding that animal cruelty is a general-intent crime instead of a specific-intent offense.

        Acting Presiding Justice Gilbert Nares wrote for the court that the judge at Alvarado's trial was not required to instruct jurors that Alvarado had to have the specific intent to maim, mutilate, torture wound or kill an animal to be convicted.

        The appeals court ordered its decision published, which means it can be cited as a legal precedent in other cases.

        Alvarado, 48 at the time, was convicted Oct. 1, 2003, of charges that he killed Pyro, a 3-year-old Dalmatian, and Gizmo, a 7-month-old chow mix, on Dec. 6, 2002, after a night of drinking with his girlfriend's brother. Pyro was stabbed twice and Gizmo was stabbed three times then beaten to death in the girlfriend's studio apartment in Fallbrook.

        Alvarado was sentenced to two years in state prison.