MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Jesus Bandera-Salgado sat silently as a prosecutor told jurors two horses suffered, starved and nearly died because he failed to properly care for them.
That same jury deliberated for just over an hour and a half on Tuesday before finding him not guilty.
It was July 7, 2013 when police were called to a ranch at 5400 NW 159th in Miami Gardens to investigate two horses, named Suzy and Justice, who were “in deplorable conditions,” according to the arrest report.
On Tuesday, prosecutor Stephanie Aycart pointed to Bandera-Salgado, 49, and told the six-member jury, “Those are the horses that suffered at the hands of the defendant.”
Bandera-Salgado’s attorney Jose Aguirre had indicated there would be a lack of evidence because he did not own the horses.
The trial was expected to last a couple of days. State prosecutors said they had planned to call four witnesses: 2 police officers, a veterinarian and an animal activist who ultimately nurtured the horses back to health.
Bandera-Salgado faced three counts of cruelty to animals.
A co-defendant in the case Andrew Winningham accepted a guilty plea, in order to avoid any jail time.