San Antonio couple indicted in connection with fatal dog attack

Christian Alexander Moreno, Abilene Schnieder, indicted on two charges

SAN ANTONIO – A Bexar County grand jury on Thursday indicted a San Antonio couple in connection with a fatal dog attack earlier this year.

Christian Alexander Moreno, and his wife, Abilene Schnieder, were indicted on charges of dangerous dog attack -- causing death and injury to the elderly -- causing bodily injury, Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Ramon Najera, 81, was mauled to death by three dogs in a West Side neighborhood in February. His wife, Juanita Najera, was injured in the attack. She and other family members were at the news conference.

Several other people, including responding firefighters, were also injured in the attack. The firefighters had to fight the dogs off with pickaxes. An SAFD captain was bitten in the leg.

Moreno and Schnieder were the owners of the dogs and were arrested. They were released on bond in April.

You can watch the press conference in the video player below:

When asked why it took so long to present the case before a grand jury, Gonzales described the length of time as normal.

“The process of reviewing cases, obtaining complete reports, obtaining a prosecution guide and witness statements (makes) it is normal for it to take six months to a year,” he said.

Also in attendance at the news conference was State Rep. Elizabeth Campos, who authored the Ramon Najera Act at the Texas Legislature.

The legislation would have increased the criminal consequences for dog owners if their dogs acted out. A Class-C misdemeanor would have been issued for the first offense and a third-degree felony for repeated violations. The bill would have also made removing dangerous dogs easier for Animal Care Services.

The bill passed in the Texas House and Senate but Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed it. Abbott asserted the need for the justice system to be able to “work without the overcriminalization found in this bill.”

ACS officials expressed disappointment in the governor’s decision to veto the bill.

Campos expressed the need to ensure the bill would pass in future legislative sessions.

“Even though House Bill 4759 was vetoed, I am very grateful for the support and collaboration with the Najera family, and the City of San Antonio for the much needed changes with Animal Care Services, " she said.

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About the Authors

Mason Hickok is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. He graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a communication degree and a minor in film studies. He also spent two years working at The Paisano, the independent student newspaper at UTSA. Outside of the newsroom, he enjoys the outdoors, walking his dogs and listening to podcasts.

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.

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