Case Snapshot
Case ID: 12201
Classification: Theft, Mutilation/Torture, Beating
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Tuesday, Aug 28, 2007

County: Guadalupe

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 1 files available

» 12 year old
» 14 year old
» 16 year old

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

Guadalupe County authorities arrested a group of teens who they said tortured a dog to death in an abandonded home on August 28, 2007.

Police said the three boys ages 12, 14, and 16 walked into Stephanie Tavere's yard and stole her beloved dog Tobey.

Officers said the teens took the dog to an abandoned house and repeatedly threw the dog out of a second story window. After its legs were broken, the boys hung the dog in a tree and proceeded to beat it like a pinata, authorities said. Police said the teens ended up decapitating the dog.

A neighbor across the street saw the suspicious activity and called police. The teens are being held on charges of animal cruelty resulting in death. If convicted, they could be put in jail until they turn 19.

Nan Udell, an assistant co-attorney, said local law enforcement are very disturbed by the animal cruelty case.

She declined to show photos to KSAT 12 News that she said are too gruesome to fathom. Udell said what is also disturbing is that the boys have shown no remorse for what they did. "We're very concerned about that," Udell said. "They have been asked to have psychological testing so we can see if this is a pattern or a fluke. We don't know right now."

Case Updates

Three Guadalupe County boys accused of torturing and killing a small dog in August in a case that attracted international attention have been sentenced to terms of six months to nine months in locked treatment facilities, assistant county attorney Nan Udell said.

The boys - ages 12, 14 and 16 - were accused of stealing the dog, named Toby, from his owner's house, taking him to a nearby abandoned building and torturing and killing him.

The last of the boys was sentenced Friday, Udell said.

They will all be subject to intensive supervised probation for a year after their release, she said.
Source: Austin-American Statesman - Dec 27, 2007
Update posted on Dec 29, 2007 - 12:51AM 
County Court-at-Law Judge Linda Z. Jones Friday ordered detention for three boys who allegedly tortured and killed a small dog extended for another 10 days.

The boys, ages 15, 13 and 12, have been in custody since Aug. 29, when they were picked up after neighbors off Glenewinkel Road called sheriff's deputies to report activity around an abandoned house.

Investigators allege the boys took a dog from the front yard of a 16-year-old girl in a nearby mobile home subdivision, took it to the nearby abandoned home and twice threw it from a second story window.

Afterward, they allegedly beat it, burned it, hanged it and ultimately beheaded it in a crime that has shocked the community and many others around the country.

In the wake of intense attention from news media and animal rights advocates, County Attorney Elizabeth Murray-Kolb's Office agreed early last week with attorneys defending the boys to make no more public statements on the case.

Friday, Jones closed the hearing to the public citing Section 54.08 of the Texas Family Code, which requires a judge to close a hearing for a young defendant below age 14 if there is no overriding public interest in opening it.

She authorized Chief Probation Officer Ron Quiros to release a short statement afterward, saying she had ordered continued detention of the three boys for another 10 days.

If proved, animal cruelty resulting in death was a state jail felony under the law in effect prior to Sept. 1. For an adult, that would mean incarceration upon conviction in a state jail for between six months and two years and a fine of up to $10,000. Under the new law, the crime becomes a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in state prison.

Upon adjudication, a child charged with animal cruelty faces a possible punishment range from probation to incarceration in the Texas Youth Commission until he or she reaches adulthood.
Source: Seguin Gazette - Sep 16, 2007
Update posted on Sep 16, 2007 - 1:25AM 
Guadalupe County prosecutors are vowing to throw the book at three boys charged with torturing and killing a puppy that had been given to a neighbor's teenage daughter a few months ago.

"I was sickened, all of us were absolutely sickened," said Guadalupe County Attorney Elizabeth Murray-Kolb. "They found the easiest target, a friendly little dog. They were seen petting it."

The boys, ages 12, 14 and 16, took the 5-month-old Pomeranian mix named Toby on Tuesday to an abandoned house on Glenewinkel Road in Geronimo. What followed was a sadistic scene of torture and mutilation, according to officials at the Sheriff's Department and County Attorney's office.

They said the boys took the dog to the second floor of the house and twice threw it out a window, breaking its legs. Then they used a rope to hang the dog from a tree by its broken hind legs and used a lighter to burn its genitals.

"They got a board with nails sticking out of it and used the dog as a piņata," Murray-Kolb said.

Finally, they used a folding pocketknife to decapitate Toby. Murray-Kolb said she did not know if the dog was dead or alive when its head was cut off.

A deputy was called to the abandoned house by a neighbor, who reported suspicious activity at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The deputy found the boys and noticed blood on their clothes, said Guadalupe County Sheriff's Department Lt. Kevin Jordan. The deputy then found the decapitated dog, still hanging by its hind legs from the tree.

The three boys are all charged with animal cruelty resulting in death.

If tried as adults, they could receive two years in jail and a fine for the state jail felony. But as juveniles, they could be locked up at a Texas Youth Commission facility until they turn 19. That's what officials hope to do.

"These boys are a danger to the community," said Assistant County Attorney Nan Udell, who will prosecute the case. "We want society to be protected as long as we have the ability to protect it. As children, the goal is always rehabilitation. I don't know if that's possible here."

"The only remorse I've seen is they are sorry they got caught," Udell said.

County Court-at-Law Judge Linda Jones on Wednesday ordered all three boys to be detained in the Seguin juvenile lockup for 10 days, until their next mandated court hearing.

The killing shocked the dog's owners.

Toby was a "very playful, cute little puppy," said Lenora Tavera.

She said the dog was a gift from a friend to her 16-year-old daughter, Stephanie, a couple of months ago. Toby had a habit of escaping from their fenced yard to play with neighbors and their dogs.

Tavera said her daughter "knows one of the boys. She couldn't believe they would do that to a dog."
Source: My San Antonio - Aug 31, 2007
Update posted on Aug 31, 2007 - 11:40PM 


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