The trial of Herlinda Trigo, 45, began Wednesday without one key element: Trigo, herself.

She is facing animal cruelty charges for allegedly dragging a dog to death behind her truck on June 27, 2012.

When Trigo failed to show up at 10 a.m. on Wednesday for her trial 144th District Court, Judge Angus McGinty issued a warrant for her arrest and set her bond at $100,000.

McGinty delayed the start of the trial until the afternoon and when Trigo still had not appeared, he ordered the trial to begin without her.

The state’s first witness, Frank Lopez, said he spotted Trigo’s truck driving on 36th Street with what appeared to be a dog chasing the vehicle.

“As I looked again, I realized it wasn’t a dog chasing a car as dogs sometimes do," he said. "I saw a wire attached to the dog’s collar and tied to the truck’s bumper."

He said he caught up with Trigo at a stoplight and tried to tell her that the dog was tied to her truck.

“She just cussed at me and sped away,” he said.

If she is convicted, Trigo faces a two- to 20-year range of punishment.

Since she failed to appear in court, she is also facing contempt of court charges.

The trial will resume on Thursday in Judge McGinty’s 144th District Court.

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