UPDATED Crush Video Case: Feds Drop Remaining Charges

Categories: Courts

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Richards and Justice might be charged with animal cruelty....again.
Federal prosecutors have dropped the two remaining obscenity charges against alleged animal crush video producers Ashley Richards and Brent Justice and filed a notice of appeal on five counts previously tossed out by a federal judge.

Cover Story: Open Season: Do Laws Against Animal Crushing Videos Violate Free Speech?

The defendants are set to be transferred from federal to state custody; a federal prosecutor said at one of two hearings today that the Harris County District Attorney's Office has refiled animal cruelty charges, but a spokesperson for the Office could not confirm that for the Houston Press.

Judge Sim Lake earlier dismissed five counts filed under the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, calling the law overbroad and a violation of free speech. That law required a finding of obscenity. The remaining two charges also required a finding of obscenity -- but under a different statute -- making them a tad, well, redundant. (Frankly, we didn't understand why those last two obscenity charges were even filed, but the U.S. Attorney's Office won't bother talking to us about such picayune matters -- after all, it's not like they're public servants or anything).

We'll update if and when we hear back from the D.A.'s Office.

Update: D.A.'s Office Spokeswoman Sara Kinney confirmed that cruelty charges have been re-filed. She explained that prosecutors wanted to wait until the federal charges had been resolved before re-filing state charges.

Richards has been charged with five counts, and Justice with one count, of cruelty to animals. Each count carries a two-year maximum sentence. We think it's a shame that Justice has only one count against him. According to his daughter, he had produced crush videos with a previous girlfriend; Richards hadn't made any videos prior to meeting Richards that we're aware of.

Also, based on an investigator's testimony in federal court, Justice had been trying to recruit a woman he met online to make videos. As far as we can tell, Richards would have never been involved in this stuff had she not met Justice.

Richards and Justice are scheduled to be arraigned May 22.


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13 comments
Girl_Charlie
Girl_Charlie

I cannot believe this judge dropped all charges. Was it because this sadistic tramp is in a Black Supremacist Party? PETA might want to look into Yahweh and the New Black Panthers. The Nation of Yahweh as racist, stating that the group believed blacks are the true Jews and that whites were devils.

lucywwjd
lucywwjd

I pray that the judge who decided this is NOT re-elected. Maybe he himself is secretly into this type of sadistic behavior (i.e. child pornography - dominatrix behavior - prostitutes etc) I am so ashamed of our country when it comes to this - We let murderers and rapists run free and put to death a retarded male. REALLY

jennjackson9704
jennjackson9704

I have never been more ashamed to be Texan....I am disgusted and I can only hope that karma will do justice since Texas courts and judges cant seem to manage it

k_arany
k_arany

Is this "judge" f-ing stupid????  This is NOT a first amendment right!!!  THIS IS ANIMAL CRUELTY, dumbass!!!!  How did this dumb f*ck end up a judge!!!  Praying he dies soon and someone slits Ashely's throat!!

trademarkanimal
trademarkanimal

May these two sadists rot from the inside out, from their own bile.. Let's hop in jail they meet a big boy who loved his childhood pet!

annd13
annd13

I sincerely hope that the appeal process results in an overturning of Lake's decision. I think it's absolutely ridiculous that he would even consider torture of any kind as "free speech!" H.R. 5566 was passed into law for a good reason; Lake's attempt to undermine it on the basis of semantics is unconscionable, and sets a very dangerous precedent. I've contacted the Texas Attorney General to encourage him to expedite the appeal process in this case, and hopefully, many others will do the same. This injustice needs to be rectified. (https://www.change.org/petitions/the-honorable-gregory-abbott-attorney-general-of-texas-expedite-the-appeals-process-so-that-judge-lake-s-ruling-is-overruled-asap)

rgwalt
rgwalt

At least the animal cruelty charges have been re-filed.  It sound like a slam dunk case to me.  Hopefully the lady will get to serve all 10 years.  While we, as a society, kill animals every day (turkeys, chickens, cows, pigs, etc) for food, we do not torture them to death.  What these people did was to torture these poor animals before killing them.  Maybe the federal law is poorly written such that it infringes on free-speech, but I they at least deserve animal cruelty charges. 

stormplains
stormplains

So freedom of speech constitutes abuse and murder? This federal judge is one stupid jacka$$.

ciaoasia
ciaoasia

The legal system needs to wake up and make right for this insane animal cruelty. justice needs to be served. anyone in their right mind can see this is inhumane and needs to be stopped. by allowing people to conduct torture, we are effectively saying that this ok and opening the door for more people and animals to be tortured. Glad to see this case is being re-filed, but the court system and judges need serious reevaluation here. If we can't stop this evil cruelty, we have no hope as humanity. 

sharontate69
sharontate69

If there is any justice in this life, these two pieces of ghetto trash would be tortured to the brink of death, repeatedly, and then brought back by having cold water thrown in their faces. I also would enjoy if they were treated to a little anal electrocution -- just for fun. Surely there would be a lot of paying customers online who would enjoy watching their "final show", right? This idiot judge Sim(pleton) Lake needs to be voted out of office ASAP. I bet he was probably one of their best customers. Since he is trying so hard to get these monsters out, he should have to take them into his home and let them babysit his kids.

stormplains
stormplains

@sharontate69 Hopefully a person like Charles Manson or Jeffrey Dahmer  will be waiting for these two when they get out of prison.

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