Pair Indicted For Animal Crush Videos

December 1, 2012


I'd like to think that by now, I've pretty much seen and heard everything.  And trust me, I've seen a lot after some three decades of practicing law.  Apparently, however, each new day has the potential to unsettle my little world and offer me yet more surprises, not all of which are pleasant.

Consider this:

Seems that there is something called "animal crush videos."  According to federal law, an "animal crush video" is any photograph, motion-picture film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that depicts actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.  Such a video is deemed "obscene."

Of course, ya gotta wonder who is worse: The folks that make this crap or the ones that watch it.

All of which brings us to Ashley Nicole Richards, 22, and Brent Justice, 51, both of Houston, TX who were arrested on August 15, 2012, on state charges of animal cruelty but  have been indicted on federal charges and will soon be transferred to federal custody and arraignment   The seven-count federalIndictment alleges that between February 2010 and August 2012, Richards and Justice created and distributed eight animal crush videos; or, as the allegations are more starkly stated in the press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, the videos: "allegedly involve puppies, chickens, and kittens being tortured and killed."

If convicted of these charges, Richards and Justice face up to seven years in federal prison on each of the five animal crush charges and up to five years on each of the two obscenity charges. They also face a possible $250,000 fine on each count of conviction and at least three years of supervised release. NOTE: An Indictment contains allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Puppies? Chickens? Kittens? Tortured and killed?

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.