One half of a Houston couple charged with torturing dogs and cats on video has pleaded guilty to a newly revised federal statute criminalizing “crush” videos.
Ashley Nicole Richards, 24, previously pleaded guilty to state animal cruelty charges, and has agreed to testify against her co-defendant, Brent Wayne Justice, 54, whose charges in federal and state court are still pending. Justice has been in Harris County Jail for more than a year and is expected to go to trial on the state charges Sept. 10.
Richards was sentenced to 10 years confinement for the cruelty charges; she faces up to seven years on each of the five counts she pleaded to. Sentencing has been deferred until after her cooperation in the pending actions against Justice.
The couple are believed to be the first charged under the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010; they were charged after activists