DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
BURNET — A case that drew national attention in August 2012 came to a close in State District Judge Dan Mills courtroom March 6 where a woman charged with dragging a 2-year-old Yorkshire terrier mix behind her vehicle pleaded guilty.
Maricela Martinez Sanchez, 28, accepted two years’ probation, a $500 fine and court costs after pleading guilty to the Class A misdemeanor charge of cruelty to a non-livestock animal. She also must complete 150 hours of community service, according to court documents.
On Aug. 15, 2012, Marble Falls police responded to a call that somebody had dragged a small dog tethered to a leash behind a moving vehicle. According to an arrest warrant affidavit issued by Marble Falls Municipal Judge Cheryl Pounds in August, the investigation led officers to Sanchez.
The woman admitted to officers she had been walking her dog, named Mimi, by leading the animal by a leash behind her car which was traveling 5-8 mph at times, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, Officer Tina Harvey responded to Fifth Street and Avenue R shortly after 7 p.m. Aug. 15 when somebody reported seeing a motorist walking a dog down the street by hanging a leash out of a moving vehicle’s window.
“They (witnesses) stated that the driver would drive and occasionally stop for the dog,” according to the affidavit. “The dog would try to keep up and, when she couldn’t, she would be (dragged).”
The officer noticed injuries to the dog’s paws and legs, according to the document.
The woman was charged and later indicted on cruelty to non-livestock animal-torture, a state jail felony.
Police seized the injured animal. A MFPD employee took care of Mimi as the animal recuperated from its injuries.
Later in August, Judge Pounds severed Sanchez’s custody of Mimi.
Following all the attention Mimi’s story garnered, the Marble Falls Police made the dog available for adoption by placing interested people’s names in a pot and drawing one. A Horseshoe Bay couple became Mimi’s new owners, who she had adjusted well to by October.
Sanchez faced up to two years in a state jail had she been convicted under the initial indictment.
Under Sanchez’s plea, the court sentenced her to the maximum of one year in a county jail under a Class A misdemeanor. But the court agreed to probate the jail time for two years.