Despite pleas from the attorney for Herlinda Trigo, 45, that the death of Trigo’s dog was an accident, the jury found her guilty of cruelty to non-livestock animals Wednesday.
The verdict marked the end of Trigo’s five-day trial and followed passionate closing arguments from both sides.
“This was an accident and through this whole episode, she lost her beloved dog, which the family loved,” Trigo’s lawyer Dinorah Diaz argued.
She claimed that the dog’s extended leash had become tangled on the bumper of Trigo’s truck as she left home on the afternoon of June 27, 2012.
Prosecutors reminded the jury that several motorists testified that they tried to alert Trigo that she was dragging the dog as she drove down 36th Street.
“Those who tried to help the dog and alert Trigo were not able to because of the cruelty of the defendant,” prosecutor Marilisa Jansen told the jury.
One witness testified that when he tried to alert Trigo, she cussed and spat on him.
When Trigo failed to show up last week as testimony in her trial began, Judge Angus McGinty issued a warrant for her arrest and set her bond at $100,000.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Trigo remained at large.
When she is arrested, McGinty will set a sentencing date.
Trigo is facing a punishment range of from two to 20 years in prison, as well a fine and perhaps contempt of court charges for not showing up for her trial.