SAN ANTONIO -

Lawyers for Herlinda Trigo, 45, rested their case the same way the woman’s trial on animal abuse charges began last week – without Trigo’s presence.

Trigo failed to appear as testimony got underway. She is facing a fine and perhaps contempt of court charges regardless of the outcome to the trial.

On Tuesday, Jesse Luna, a friend of Trigo's, testified that she called him after being told that she was dragging a dog behind her truck as she drove along 36th street on June 27, 2012.

“She was crying and she was upset,” Luna testified. “She told me about the dog.”

Luna said that Trigo told him that she had no idea that she was dragging the dog.

He said she told him that her husband had tied the dog, “Gorda,” to a tree at their West Side home and that the dog’s extended leash had apparently become tangled on her truck bumper as she drove off.

“She told me it was an accident and she was crying,” Luna said.

A different picture of Trigo was painted for the jury last week by Frank Lopez, a state’s witness.

He testified that she cussed at him and spat on him when he told her she was dragging the dog behind her truck.

On Tuesday, Trigo’s lawyer Dinorah Diaz played a 911 call that Lopez made that day. She noted that in the call he made no mention of her abusive behavior.

Closing arguments are set for 9am Wednesday morning in Judge Angus McGinty’s 144th District Court.

A guilty verdict could mean up to 20 years in prison for Trigo.

For a list of recent stories Paul Venema has done, click here.