June 18, 2014
Abuser in Dog Cruelty Case Sentenced to 17 Years
Superior Judge José Montijo Román imposed a sentence of 17 years and three months in prison to Edwin Vélez Marrero, after being found guilty of animal cruelty in April.
Yolanda Alvarez, Puerto Rico director for The Humane Society of the United States said: "This sentence sends a clear message that our society and its legal system condemns violent behavior. We are hopeful that this decision will serve as a deterrent to all those who have contempt for life whether animal or human.”
Vélez Marrero is accused of using a wooden plank to torture a dog to the point of breaking all his vertebrae. He then placed the animal in a swamp with the intention to drown him. He was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals, and was sentenced under Article seven of the Animal Welfare and Protection Act (Act 154-2008). The judge also applied Article 73 of the Puerto Rico Penal Code of 2012 on recidivism, as Vélez Marrero had previously been convicted for other crimes including murder, lascivious acts, aggravated burglary, attempted assault and weapons charges.
The dog was rescued by Officer Julio Cintron of the Puerto Rico Police Department, but had to be euthanized given the seriousness of his condition resulting from wounds inflicted by Vélez Marrero. Defensores de Animales was involved in bringing the defendant to justice.
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