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Monterey Co. man guilty of animal abuse for killing animals at school; faces 20 years prison

PIX Now - Morning Edition 4/19/24
PIX Now - Morning Edition 4/19/24 10:25

A Gonzales man faces over 20 years in prison after he was found guilty of stabbing animals inside a school property in February 2023, Monterey County prosecutors said.

Jose Jesse Marquez, 31, was found guilty of four counts of felony animal abuse with an allegation that the crime involved a deadly or dangerous weapon, felony resisting a police officer, and felony burglary, the Monterey County District Attorney's Office said in a statement Wednesday.

Jose Jesse Marquez was convicted of felony animal abuse after stabbing animals at Gonzales High School in Monterey County on Feb. 18, 2023. Two lambs died in the incident. Monterey County Sheriff's Office via KION-TV

At about 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 18, 2023, Marquez reportedly rode his bicycle to Gonzales High School and entered the campus to take a tool. He then went to the barn area and stabbed multiple animals, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, Marquez held down each animal, which had been raised since birth by students at Gonzales High, and repeatedly stabbed them eight to 10 times in the head and neck with such force that their skulls were broken in multiple places.

Two lambs died, while another lamb and a pig survived.

When he was contacted by law enforcement, Marquez refused to comply with officers' orders and threatened to commit violence toward one of them during jail booking.

Marquez faces approximately 20 years and four months in prison when he is sentenced on June 4, prosecutors said.

Those with information about any case of animal abuse or neglect in Monterey County are asked to contact the District Attorney's Office at (831) 755-5070 or their local police department.

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