Houston pair charged with torturing, killing puppy

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on August 17, 2012 at 4:19 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 18 at 3:03 PM

HOUSTON – A man and woman in Houston have been charged with a horrifying case of animal abuse.

Ashley Nicole Richards, 22, and Brent Wayne Justice used a meat cleaver to slash a puppy’s neck, cut off its tail and slice its leg, according to court records. The pit bull pup died.

Richards and Justice are charged with animal cruelty.

Charges were also filed against Richards this week in a 2010 animal abuse case. She allegedly killed a cat by slitting its throat and stomping its eye with her shoe heel.

The gruesome deaths were reportedly videotaped and posted online to make money, according to prosecutors. Sources say there were also gruesome videos of other puppies, kittens, mice, rabbits and other animals.

KHOU 11 News Reporter Jeff McShan found two open cans of cat food on the suspects’ property. One was in the driveway, and the other was on the side of the house. A window was propped open and it appeared it was used to lure animals inside.  

Investigators said the videos are called crush videos. Crush videos show an animal being tortured, often crushed, to satisfy the viewer’s sexual appetite.

Police said Richards would sometimes perform the killings live and said Justice was the one that shot the videos and provided a knife to kill at least one of the animals.

The Houston Police Department said it has been briefed on crush videos in the past, but this is the first time, in recent history, that they’ve uncovered a case like this in Houston.

Richards was being held on a bond of $40,000 for the two animal cruelty cases. The bond for Justice was set at $20,000.

Richards was already in trouble for a Fourth of July riot in Waco. After the annual fireworks display in downtown Waco, a crowd of about 400 people refused to leave and became hostile. They threw large fireworks and rocks at officers, according to KWTX in Waco. The melee lasted about 90 minutes before police used an armored vehicle and tear gas to break up the crowd.

Richards was charged with punching a female cop and resisting arrest.

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