GALVESTON — Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of a man charged with animal cruelty after his pit bull was found dead in a Galveston yard in September.
Lloyd Charles Baldwin, 64, pleaded not guilty Monday.
Baldwin was arrested in September after his pit bull was found dead at his home in the 3400 block of Avenue H.
Prosecutors allege that Baldwin tethered the animal in a way that let the dog become easily entangled and failed to leave enough water. The pit bull died primarily of heat stroke, Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Cuchens said.
Attorney Anthony Griffin, who is representing Baldwin, said the dog’s death was accidental and not the fault of his client.
Baldwin has a lengthy criminal history, according to court records. That criminal record stemmed from a past struggle with addiction, and since Baldwin’s release from prison, he has been an upstanding member of the community, Griffin said.
Church members from three congregations were in Judge Lonnie Cox’s 56th District Court on Monday to support Baldwin. A former postmaster and a current pastor were among those who spoke in his defense, Griffin said.
Vernon Baines, pastor of the island’s Live Oak Baptist Church, said Baldwin served as a deacon and active member of the fellowship.
When Baldwin accompanied Baines on out-of-town trips for the church, Baldwin always made sure his pit bull was cared for, the pastor said.
“I’ve known him to be responsible for the dog,” he said.