Man who owned dogs that killed elderly man makes first court appearance

Christian Moreno charged with injury to the elderly and dangerous dog attack resulting in death

SAN ANTONIO – The man who owned the dogs that killed an elderly man earlier this year made his first court appearance since his indictment.

Christian Moreno is charged with injury to the elderly and dangerous dog attack resulting in death.

In his first court appearance on Tuesday, Judge Velia Meza in the 226th District Court said the state has until Oct. 25 to hand over the last remaining evidence, which is medical records. A discovery compliance hearing will then take place, and if all the necessary documents are obtained, a trial date could be set.

Watch Moreno’s court appearance in the video player below:

Moreno along with his wife Abilene Schnieder were arrested days apart after investigators said three of the couple’s dogs escaped from their yard in the 2800 block of Depla Street and were roaming free when two of them attacked Ramon Najera, 81. Najera died from his injuries in the Feb. 24 attack.

His wife, Janie, and two others were taken to an area hospital for treatment but survived their injuries, police previously said.

Three San Antonio firefighters fought off the dogs to get to Najera and his wife, using pickaxes and pike poles to protect themselves. One fire captain was injured but is okay, San Antonio Fire Department Chief Charles Hood previously said.

San Antonio Animal Care Services later took custody of the three dogs owned by Moreno and Schnieder. They were all eventually euthanized.

Both Moreno and Schnieder have been out on bond. While Tuesday marked Moreno’s first court appearance, Schnieder will have her first hearing on Oct. 3.

Injury to the elderly is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.

The charge of dangerous dog attack resulting in death is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Misael started at KSAT-TV as a photojournalist in 1987.