RGP defense lawyer Jason Rogers worked hard to help keep Juan Alejandro Mendiola out of prison, as written by Michelle Casady of the San Antonio Express News (the original article can be found here). Note: these are the facts according to the prosecutors as related by the Express News – RGP disputes many of the facts of this article (update 10/15/2014).
“Juan Alejandro Mendiola was sentenced by a jury to one year of probation on Friday, a day after he was convicted of animal cruelty for killing his dog, Tiger, with a machete.
Had jurors done as the state asked and found that he used a deadly weapon in the attack, it would have enhanced the felony offense and Mendiola, 30, could have faced up to a decade in prison.
He was arrested in January 2013 after his 55-pound dog died with two deep slashes on his neck and one on his chest, along with smaller wounds on his legs and the bottom of his paw.
He told police he thought the weapon was sheathed when he used it to discipline the dog for chewing up his limited-edition “Call of Duty” headphones.
Defense attorneys Mark Bindock and Jason Rogers asked jurors during closing arguments to have mercy on Mendiola, a war veteran suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder who had never before been convicted of a felony.
“He served his country, he’s been through a lot,” Rogers said, reminding jurors that his client had been overcome with emotion at times during the trial. “He deserves a second chance.”
Prosecutors Brandon Jackson and Alaina Altis asked jurors to send the man to prison and contended that such attacks have a tendency to escalate.
“Will the next one be an animal?” Jackson asked the panel. “It is a crime against a helpless being and it deserves jail time.”
Mendiola, who was ordered taken into custody by state District Judge Ron Rangel after his conviction Thursday, will remain jailed until a hearing in coming days where the terms of his probation will be determined.”
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