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Gonzales man who stabbed local animals sentenced to over 19 years in prison

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) -- Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni announced Tuesday that Jose Jesse Marquez, 31, has been sentenced to 19 years and four months in prison for stabbing animals to death.

The Honorable Jennifer O’Keefe previously found Marquez guilty on four counts of felony animal abuse with a knife; felony resisting a police officer; and felony burglary, according to a DA press release.

Because of enhancements for a prior strike conviction found by Judge O’Keefe, the "numerous factors in aggravation" fall under California's three strikes law, "ensuring that the defendant will face life behind bars if he commits another strike," according to the DA's office.

Early in morning on Feb. 18, 2023, Marquez rode his bicycle to Gonzales High School and trespassed the property to steal a tool, grew angry with his mother, and proceeded to stab "multiple animals belonging to the students," according to the DA's office.

Two of the lambs died, while one lamb and one pig survived. Each of the animals had been raised since birth by the high school students and were repeatedly stabbed eight to ten times in the head and
neck. The DA's office reported that the stabbings were with such force that the animals' skulls were broken in multiple places.

By the time law enforcement arrived on scene, Marquez refused to comply with officers’ orders and even threatened violence against the booking officer.

The Monterey County District Attorney’s office prosecuted this case as crimes against animals. "These crimes are not tolerated in this community and all offenders will be fully prosecuted under the law," said the DA's office.

Officials are asking anyone who suspects animal abuse or neglect to please contact the District Attorney’s Office at 831-755-5070 or your local police department.

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Jeanette Bent

I’ve been an international professional writer and performer for over 25 years. With a background in journalism, creative writing, dance and aerial, I find the intersection between all of these skills lands itself somewhere under the term “storytelling.”


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