Keith Meredith committed an unconscionable act of animal cruelty. But even more inexcusable is the fact that an elected official is allowing this horrific animal cruelty case to fall through the cracks.
Recently, Van Zandt police officer James Bradshaw was called to a terrible animal cruelty scene. What officer Bradshaw found was a bulldog laying dead in a puddle of blood, a wound from a claw hammer in its head and a tight nylon rope around its neck. When Bradshaw questioned Meredith, the abuser's excuse was that the dog, which wasn't even his, was being aggressive. Yet, Meredith had no apparent injuries.
Thankfully, Meredith was arrested for animal cruelty.
But instead of zealously prosecuting this case, it appears that Van Zandt County District Attorney Chris Martin turned it over to a grand jury without the proper evidence and severity it was due. The grand jury likely only received vague reports that forced them to dismiss (no-bill) the case and let Meredith escape the appropriate punishment due his crime. If Martin did not present the grand jury specific witness statements and the exact words of Officer Bradshaw himself, the DA set this indictment up for failure.
What evidence did DA Martin present to the grand jury that made them dismiss the case instead of indicting Meredith for a felony? Was Martin even interested in getting justice for that abused, innocent animal? Did Martin not react to this violence with the same disgust we did?
To serve the interest of justice and showing others that this type of cruelty will not be accepted, we need to contact DA Martin and ask him to go back to the grand jury with more evidence to ensure an indictment, versus proceeding with a misdemeanor charge. Elected officials, especially in an election year, need to understand that animal cruelty in the state of Texas must be prosecuted to the fullest extent. DA Martin cannot turn his back on his community. Let's urge him to use the law THLN helped put in place for just these types of crimes.
If you want to contact DA Martin, email him at the following address: DistrictAttorney@vanzandtcounty.org. Make sure to request that Meredith be prosecuted under Section 42.092 of the Texas Penal Code and that he be charged with a state jail felony with the maximum sentence allowed. Not taking animal cruelty cases seriously will only allow these heinous crimes to continue. For more information, click here to view our Urgent Action Alert.
And, as always you can donate to THLN to help ensure that our efforts to pursue humane legislation continue.