HOUSTON – A man and woman appeared in a Houston courtroom Monday after being charged in 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.
“Both have been charged with a felony cruelty case, specifically torturing a dog and a cat,” prosecutor Belinda Smith told the media following Monday’s hearing. “Ms. Richards stated she made these videos at the request of customers.”
In a probable cause court last week, a judge stopped the reading of court documents related to the case due to the graphic nature of the allegations against the suspects.
Charges were also filed last week against Richards 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.
Investigators said the videos are called crush videos. Crush videos show an animal being tortured, often crushed, to satisfy the viewer’s bizarre sexual fetish.
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.