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Gonzales man found guilty on felony animal abuse for killing multiple Gonzales High 4-H animals, DA’s office says

GONZALES, Calif. (KION-TV)- UPDATE ON APRIL 18, 2024 AT 5:28 PM- The Monterey County District Attorney's Office confirmed that a Gonzales man was found guilty on felony animal abuse charges after he killed multiple animals that belonged to the Gonzales High School 4-H club.

A spokesperson with the Monterey County District Attorney's Office confirmed with KION that 31-year-old Jose Jesse Marquez was found guilty on multiple charges including 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.

On Feb. 18, 2023, Marquez rode his bike to Gonzales High School and entered the campus to take a tool.

Marquez became upset with his mother and approached the barn area where he stabbed multiple animals that belonged to students who were in the school's 4-H program per the DA's office.

Investigators said Marquez held down each animal which had been raised since birth by students at Gonzales High School and stabbed them eight to ten times in the head and neck area.

Two lambs were killed and one lamb and a pig survived the attack according to Monterey County District Attorney's Office Jeannine M. Pacioni.

The DA's Office said that Marquez was not complying with law enforcement and threatened violence against an officer at his booking.

Marquez will be sentenced on June 4. He is facing 20 years and four months in prison.

DA: Gonzales suspect that killed two lambs faces 19 years in prison

UPDATE ON FEB. 28, 2023 AT 9:54 AM- The man accused of bludgeoning two sheep to death was arraigned in a Salinas courtroom Monday.

Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni said that Jose Jesse Marquez, 31, was arraigned on 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.

Pacioni also stated that Marquez was charged with an enhancement for a prior strike conviction and "numerous factors in aggravation."

The judge, in this case, said Marquez would not be given bail.

The district attorney's office said he arrived at the Gonzales High School grounds to take a tool on Feb. 18 at around 2:29 a.m. Marquez became upset with his mother, approached the barn area, and stabbed multiple animals belonging to the students.

Two lambs died, and one lamb and a pig survived the attack, said Pacioni. Then when law enforcement approached the suspect he refused to comply with police and "threatened to commit violence towards the officer booking him."

Jose Jesse Marquez photo courtesy of Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

If convicted, Marquez could face 19 years and eight months in prison, given a past 2018 domestic violence strike conviction.

Gonzales suspect said "I felt angry" when he bludgeoned two lambs to death

UPDATE ON FEB. 23, 2023 AT 2:32 PM- Gonzales Police arrested 31-year-old Jose Jesse Marquez of Gonzales after he allegedly killed two lambs and injured another.

Police said they uncovered additional surveillance footage that led them to Marquez. Officers contacted Marquez while he was riding his bike on the 600 block of Rincon Road.

Officers said Marquez was wanted for an outstanding warrant on an unrelated charge. Police arrested Marquez and he was transported to the police station.

During questioning, Marquez confessed to entering Gonzales High School on his bicycle with his intention to steal an unknown tool.

While he was at the campus, Marquez told investigators that, "I felt angry" and bludgeoned three animals before he left the campus.

Marquez was transported to the Monterey County Jail on animal cruelty charges and trespassing on school grounds.

The Gonzales 4-H club said that due to community involvement, they were able to replace the lambs with three new ones.

Students in the program learn how to raise and care for the animals… Until they're old enough to be sold at auction.

They then use the money to fund future generations of the program. 

Three lambs hurt, two killed, at Gonzales High School agriculture program

Gonzales Police are trying to find whoever is responsible for killing two sheep and injuring a third being kept at an agriculture grounds at Gonzales High School.

Police said on Saturday they were dispatched to the Gonzales High School 4-H Club ground at around 8:30 a.m. Police said they believe this to be an isolated incident carried out by a single person.

The injured lamb was taken to a local veterinarian hospital for treatment. The animals were all a part of the Gonzales High School club.

Gonzales Police is following up on multiple leads and reviewing surveillance video.

If you have any information, please contact the Gonzales Police Department at (831) 675-5010.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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Derrick Ow

Assignment Editor for KION News Channel 5/46


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