Dog owner charged in deadly attack testifies in court in hopes of getting charges dismissed

Abilene Schnieder, Christian Moreno scheduled for trial on Sept. 9

SAN ANTONIO – One of the owners of two dogs that attacked and killed a man testified in court on Wednesday in hopes of getting the charges dismissed.

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

Their two dogs attacked Ramon Najera, 81, and his wife while visiting a friend in a West Side neighborhood on Feb. 24, 2023. Ramon Najera died of his injuries.

Lawyers for the two suspects have filed motions to have the charges dismissed. The defense team blamed the attack on Animal Care Services, saying that ACS was to blame for the incident because the dogs had previously been detained for other bite incidents. The dogs were also never deemed as “dangerous dogs,” defense lawyers said.

Animal Care Services officials have testified that they did everything they could do according to state law and that an affidavit was never filed after the previous attacks.

During a pretrial hearing, Schnieder testified in court Wednesday that she was only required to pay $200 to get the dogs out of quarantine in January 2023 after they had been detained in a previous attack. She said ACS gave her no further instructions when she took the dogs.

District Judge Velia Meza didn’t make a ruling on the pretrial motions, but said she will have a decision on whether to drop the charges by June 17.

As for the trial itself, jury selection is now scheduled for Aug. 30 and testimony to begin on Sept. 9.

About the Authors

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 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.

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