TEXAS -- A court date has been reset again for a Brownsville police officer charged with animal cruelty in the death of his canine partner.
Officer Juan Villarreal, 32, a nine-year veteran of the force, is charged with intentionally, knowingly or recklessly failing to provide necessary care or shelter to a non-livestock animal, court records show.
Villarreal is set to face Judge David Gonzales III in Cameron County Court-at-Law No. 3 on March 30 with the trial to begin April 4, officials said.
On April 24, 2015, an investigator from the Cameron County Sheriff’s department was sent to the 30000 block of FM 1561 in Rio Hondo to investigate the death of a Brownsville police dog, later identified as Bruno, court records show. Bruno was in Villarreal’s care.
Bruno, a 5-year-old Belgian malinois, had served on the force for three years, authorities said.
Brownsville Police Chief Orlando Rodriguez said that following an internal investigation, Villarreal was given a substantial suspension of four weeks without pay.
(Brownsville Herald - Jan 21, 2016)