Brawley woman convicted after her dog died in hot car

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A woman who was convicted of animal abuse and animal endangerment after her dog died in hot car in El Cajon has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Victoria Leeann Williams, 47, of Brawley, had been free on $25,000 bond, but was remanded into jail May 3 by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Evan Kirvin who gave her credit for four days previously spent in jail.

A woman who was convicted of animal abuse and animal endangerment after her dog died in hot car in El Cajon has been sentenced to two years in jail.

Victoria Leeann Williams, 47, of Brawley, had been free on $25,000 bond, but was remanded into jail May 3 by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Evan Kirvin who gave her credit for four days previously spent in jail.

Her pitbull was left inside her car while she was parked at the El Cajon courthouse on June 19, 2015 while the outside temperature was 94 degrees. Sheriff’s deputies broke a window, but it was too late to save the animal.

State prison was ruled out, so Williams will be housed at the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility. Her projected release date is May 2, 2017, and she will be on mandatory supervision with the sheriff’s department for two years after her release.

Deputy District Attorney Jihan Yacoub asked for a 5-year term as Williams has prior convictions for possession of methamphetamine, and auto theft. A jury acquitted her of animal cruelty and convicted her of animal abuse and endangerment in April.

Man convicted in Lemon Grove stabbing

Eighteen years in state prison was handed down May 11 for Michael Thomas Bruno, 45, convicted of stabbing a man outside a Lemon Grove bar.

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Aguilar asked for a longer sentence, saying Bruno’s conduct fell within the three strikes law. Bruno could have received 40 years to life.

The victim, 26, was stabbed Aug. 16, 2015, outside the Copa Cabana Bar & Grill at 7826 Broadway in Lemon Grove. He was hospitalized and suffered wounds to his shoulder, abdomen, and elbow. 

The victim could not be located at the time of trial and Aguilar presented testimony of his injuries through other witnesses including sheriff’s deputies. The two did not know each other, but exchanged words before the stabbing.

A jury convicted Bruno March 2 of assault with a deadly weapon with great bodily injuries. He has prior convictions for residential burglary, armed robbery with a knife, and possession of heroin. El Cajon Superior Court Judge Lorna Alksne gave him credit for spending nearly nine months in jail.

Activists sentenced to federal prison

An anti-fur activist who inflicted severe damages to several homes in La Mesa and Spring Valley has been sentenced to two years in federal prison and was ordered to pay $398,272 in damages for acts across the country.

“This attack was so personal because they came to my home and my parents’ home,” said Kimberly Graf, who owns a retail furrier business in San Diego.

Specifically, Joseph Brian Buddenberg, 32, of Oakland, was ordered to pay approximately $30,000 to Graf and her parents for spray painting “animal murderer” and other slurs on their homes. Paint stripper and acid were poured on Graf’s business as well as glue put inside locks.

U.S. District Court Judge Larry Burns said there were 14 separate incidents of vandalism that also included tire slashing on meat truck distributors, release of thousands of minks from farms, breaking windows, and even flooding of someone’s home in Idaho, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

Both Buddenberg and Nicole Juanita Kissane, 28, of Oakland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Kissane, who is free on $100,000 bond, will be sentenced June 20, and is expected to share the restitution order.

Buddenberg surrendered to prison several days after his May 2 sentencing and he is scheduled for release on Jan. 25, 2018, according to federal authorities. The vandalism occurred in 2013 and 2014 and the pair was arrested in July 2015.

Brawley woman convicted after her dog died in hot car