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.

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or alex.macon@galvnews.com.

(2) comments

J. Shaffer

Animal neglect is also animal cruelty. Accident or not, it's far too hot to be irresponsible and leave a dog outside, chained up, with no fresh water.

We rail against people who leave dogs in hot cars.... it takes much longer to ignore an animal to death in a backyard.

At the very least, a sentence should include a restriction against Mr. Baldwin owning another animal.

George Croix

Wonder what the dog would have to say about the character witnesses for the defense, if it could talk.
The part about the lengthy criminal record is immaterial to the issue at hand.
For that matter, so are the preacher's and congregation's attestations, unless they were in the backyard with the dog...
All, of course, imho...

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