Case Snapshot
Case ID: 6938
Classification: Stabbing
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Thursday, Jan 12, 2006

County: Travis

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Joanna Lee Hinojosa

Case Updates: 4 update(s) available

A 31-year-old Kyle woman is facing jail time January 12, 2006 for killing her husband's dog. It started as a domestic dispute and ended when the woman grabbed the dog and a knife. "This was a particularly nasty crime and such a criminal act is not going to be tolerated here in the city of Austin," Lt. Doug Dukes with APD Strategic Command said. An act simply heinous by definition, and a woman obviously saddled with emotional problems.

Thirty-one-year-old Joanne Hinojosa turned herself in to police just before 3 p.m. Police say she butchered her estranged husband's dog stabbing it 27 times. "Family violence and cruelty to animals are very, very closely related. Usually when one happens, it's not far off for the other on to happen soon after," Dukes said. That is how witnesses say this started, when Hinojosa came to her estranged husband's house. Police say they argued. She took a swing at him, and he ran down the street and called police.

It was then Hinojosa called the dog, took her inside and started stabbing. "A lot of times when you're seeing domestic abuse "A lot of times when you're seeing domestic abuse or child abuse situations happen you're also going to have animal abuse in these same types of households. So there's not anything that's going to predict the kind of person that would do that," TLAC Director Dorinda Pulliam said. The dog was taken to the Ben White Pet Hospital for emergency surgery. Because of blood loss and severe organ damage, she was euthanized.

"This will not be tolerated and we're going to deal with it to the full extent of the law," Dukes said. Hinojosa faces up to four years behind bars and a $14,000 fine for family violence and animal cruelty charges. Bond was set at $30,000. Additional charges are pending. "Animal cruelty is a crime, and it's something that needs to be taken seriously. If you're involved in harming an animal, you can do felony time for that so it is something we take very seriously," Pulliam said.

The dog, named Marti, suffered stab wounds to the abdomen, lungs, spleen, diaphragm and other internal organs. Police found the dog with the knife blade still in the abdomen. Police say Mrs. Hinojosa also caused damage to her husband's truck, and his friend's truck. Because of that, criminal mischief charges could also be filed.


Case Updates

Joanne Hinojosa turned to her family and mouthed the words "I love you" as she was led this morning from state district Judge Mike Lynch's courtroom in handcuffs.

The woman accused of stabbing her then-estranged husband's dog 27 times in 2006 will serve six months behind bars as part of a plea bargain with prosecutors, which Lynch approved today with a warning.

"It's a serious case and it involves an act of violence," Lynch told Hinojosa. "This court will not be in a position to approve any further acts of violence."

Hinojosa pleaded guilty last month to criminal mischief and cruelty to animals. Under the plea bargain, she also received 10 years deferred adjudication, a form of probation.

If she violates the terms of her probation, Lynch could sentence Hinojosa to up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors and Hinojosa agreed to some terms of probation outside the norm. In addition to the standard terms, which include things like staying out of trouble with the law, Hinojosa also must continue her mental health counseling, take prescribed medication, undergo anger management treatment and perform 250 hours of community service. The community service may not be served at an animal facility, such as a shelter, and Hinojosa may not be the sole caretaker of any animals during her 10-year probation, according to the agreement.

Because the jail term is considered a condition of probation, she must serve all of it.

The dog, named Marti, was a 20-pound mixed breed that was euthanized because of her injuries, according to a police affidavit. The attack happened on Jan. 3, 2006, when Hinojosa went to the South Austin house of her then-estranged husband Reyes Martinez, yelled at him and at one point took a swing at him.

When Martinez retreated down the street, Hinojosa took Marti into the house, the affidavit said.

Later, police discovered Marti in a pool of blood in the kitchen with a knife sticking out of her left side, the affidavit said.

During the incident, Hinojosa caused damage to a vehicle belonging to Martinez's friend. For that, she pleaded guilty to criminal mischief.

Martinez and Hinojosa have divorced and Hinojosa has remarried. She lives in Buda, where she and her husband have several animals, including pet dogs.

Her new husband declined to comment as he left court. Hinojosa's lawyer, Rip Colins, has previously said that when she stabbed Marti, Hinojosa was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the dissolution of her marriage and from a bad childhood.

Collins said that the plea bargain would benefit Hinojosa, who is seeking a master's degree in education, because if she successfully completes the term of probation, she will not have a final felony conviction on her record.

Hinojosa, who was free on bail for most of the case until today, has continually declined to comment on the case.
Source: Austin American Statesman - March 7, 2008
Update posted on Mar 7, 2008 - 4:24PM 
An Austin-area woman accused of stabbing her ex-husband's dog 27 times has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty. The plea deal means a six-month jail term and ten years of deferred adjudication for Joanne Lee Hinojosa (ee-noh-HOH'-sah) of Kyle.

The 2006 case centers on the stabbing of a 20-pound mixed-breed dog named Marti. The animal later had to be euthanized.

Hinojosa is free on bond. Sentencing is March 7th.

Her attorney says his client suffered from post-traumatic stress from the collapse of her marriage and a bad childhood.

Hinojosa also must continue with counseling and do 50 hours of community service. She's barred from caring for any animals for ten eyars.

Hinojosa also pleaded guilty to criminal mischief for hitting the vehicle of her ex-husband's friend with a shovel. She'll have to pay restitution and serve a concurrent three years of deferred adjudication.
Source: KLTV - Feb 6, 2008
Update posted on Feb 7, 2008 - 1:00AM 
A trial date was set for Wednesday, June 13, 2007.
Update posted on Jun 11, 2007 - 5:36PM 
An Austin woman accused of stabbing her estranged husband's dog 27 times faces trial in August on animal cruelty charges.

The animal -- a 20-pound mixed breed named Marti -- was later euthanized.

Prosecutors say 33-year-old Joanne Hinojosa rejected a plea bargain that included a prison sentence.

Hinojosa is accused of seriously injuring the dog during a January 2006 argument with her spouse.

Defense attorney Rip Collins has said Hinojosa was suffering mental stress from a breakup with Reyes Martinez when the dog was stabbed.

The charge against Hinojosa was bumped to a higher third-degree felony classification because the indictment accused her of using a deadly weapon.
Source: KGBT News - June 6, 2007
Update posted on Jun 6, 2007 - 10:37PM 

References

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