A former US Navy sailor in San Diego, accused of gouging out a neighbor’s dog’s eye and torturing other dogs was found guilty of animal cruelty on Friday. David C. Herbert was found guilty by a jury of 11 charges including animal abuse and vandalism; six of the charges were for felony animal cruelty.
According to the San Diego Union Tribune, in April 2017, Herbert went to the next door neighbor’s home of Maria Morales and tortured the family’s two Huskies; one dog lost her eye., but survived. The other dog suffered acid burns both inside and outside of his body. The owners believed an intruder tried to force them out of their home. The family moved to another home, however the two dogs of the new tenants went missing one month later. One of their dog’s was found roaming the neighborhood. Police believe Herbert had injured or killed their other dog. Lala; the family’s nine-year-old golden retriever has never been found. That family also moved away.
Traces of Lala’s blood had been found inside of Herbert’s car as well as on the baseball bat he owned, however he has not been found guilty of beating the dog with a bat. When asked what happened, Herbert said the dog had jumped into his car and refused to get out, so he took her to a nearby animal shelter. He stated the dog had become injured and bled in his car when heavy items in the back of the vehicle slid into her.
During the investigation, authorities found Herbert’s internet searches included how to get a dog to drink antifreeze – a lethal poison which he purchased and left lying around his property.
Herbert represented himself in court. Including the animal cruelty charges, he was also found guilty of residential burglary and four counts of misdemeanor crimes for slashing the neighbor’s tires. He was sentenced to jail without bail and deemed “a clear and present danger” to the public. Herbert’s sentencing is scheduled for October 1.
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