This is a follow-up to the story of the three teenagers who, in May, tried to kill a 9 month old terrier mix puppy. Dasha Lombard, 15; James Manzanares, 14; and Nicholas Stogdon, 13, decided it would be amusing to try to kill a puppy they found. So they taped the dog’s muzzle with clear packing tape to suffocate her, stabbed her with a knife and screwdriver and then as if that weren’t enough, they proceeded to drop a 44 lb concrete block on her.
Dasha Lombard who had previously been charged with having a deadly weapon on school property, charged with criminal damage to property when she allegedly spray-painted an elementary school playground, previous charges include shoplifting and resisting, evading and obstructing an officer as well as numerous incidents of trouble at school, usually involving verbally abusing teachers was in court this past week.
Daisha Lombard maintained before the court Monday that she did not harm the dog she and two other juveniles are charged with trying to kill on May 6 of this year.
Facing 12th Judicial District Judge Jerry Ritter during a dispositional hearing, Lombard’s attorney Pamela Dobbs said nobody wants to minimize the seriousness of the crime.
But she said Lombard, who was 15 at the time of the incident and the oldest of the three accused, is a follower and will easily do what people push her to do.
After forensic evaluations, Dobbs said, it is clear Lombard is functioning a lower level than most children her age. Although the evaluations found Lombard competent, she is not capable of fully understanding.
“She is a child who has not had the opportunity to receive the care and treatment she needed,” Dobbs said. “She has been in special education since beginning school.”
Dobbs also pointed out Lombard’s mother recently got out of prison but is not in a position to provide the girl a home because her mother is in a treatment facility.
Because of Lombard’s limitation, Dobbs asked the court for leniency and to not send Lombard to the Youth Diagnostic Development Center facility in Albuquerque.
“I don’t think I should go to YDDC,” Lombard told Ritter. “I did not harm that dog in any way, shape or form.”
But 12th Judicial District Attorney Scot Key read from a letter Lombard had written, in which she says she wished she could have done something for the dog but also admitted to being the one who dropped a 44-pound concrete block on the animal. There is also a witness who saw Lombard drop the block on the animal.
The only question left is whether Lombard also caused some of the stab wounds, Key said.
“The fact she maintains (that) she did nothing and is a follower is simply not true,” Key said.
Southern New Mexico does not have the kind of specialist treatment Lombard needs, Key said. After calling YDDC, the DA’s office found there is a specialist in Albuquerque who can address animal abuse in youngsters and who can work at YDDC.
“She has nowhere to go here,” Key said. “Probation is not in the cards in this case.”
Judge Ritter issued a disposition of commitment for two years for Lombard.
“This child has extreme problems and needs,” Ritter said.
Lombard is a product of the way she was brought into the world and not responsible for the way she grew up, or for her disabilities, he said. But she does have the responsibility to work on her problems and she needs help in doing so.
“There is no way to do that outside of commitment,” Ritter said. “YDDC is the only place with the appropriate facilities.
The charges Lombard to which pleaded guilty are extreme cruelty to animals, conspiracy to commit extreme cruelty to animals and tampering with evidence. (Alamogordo Daily News)
Nicholas Stogden, 13, who was previously charged several times with shoplifting; twice for battery on a household member; for running away; and for burglary pleaded no contest June 1 to animal cruelty charges was sentenced to long-term commitment.
Judge James Waylon Counts told Nicholas Stogden, 13, of Alamogordo, that his sentence had nothing to do with any demand on the part of the community for punishment but out of concern that Stogden is headed for far greater trouble.
Stogden has been in state custody since the May 6 incident where he, James Manzanares, 14, and Dasha Lombard, 15, are alleged to have tortured a small dog.
Stogden also pleaded no contest to an unrelated burglary.
Todd Holmes, Stogden’s attorney, argued that his client had fallen in with a bad crowd and cited a psychological evaluation that pegged Stogden as something of a follower.
Holmes also argued that Stogden had cooperated with police, giving a voluntary statement and leading police to the location of the weapons used in the attack.
He alleged Lombard had bragged about the crime after the fact, and she and Manzanares harassed police and detention transport personnel while en route to a juvenile facility.
District Attorney Scot Key had a markedly different take, arguing that cruelty toward animals was a warning sign of violence toward people. He also cited Stogden’s eight referrals to the Juvenile Probation and Parole Office.
Key argued Stogden was equally culpable, stating he conspired with the other two defendants to kill the dog.
Two witnesses testified for the state Alamogordo Department of Public Safety Officer Roger Schoolcraft and one of Stogden’s teachers from Chaparral Middle School, Ben Henchar.
Schoolcraft said Stogden cooperated with police and appeared scared but somewhat guarded because he “knew he was in trouble.” Schoolcraft said it never became abundantly clear who stabbed the dog, but the knives did come from Stogden’s residence.
Holmes said during closing arguments that Stogden did not participate in the actual stabbing, an assertion Key disagreed with.
Henchar characterized Stodgen as “highly intelligent” but having taken a “nosedive” in school. Stogden was enrolled in the Chaparral Helping Adolescents Perform Successfully (CHAPS) program.
He said the program was geared toward students with behavioral or school performance problems, adding Stodgen did not perform well. Stogden later attended the ACES program, which Henchar said was for “extremely difficult” students.
Holmes said after the sentencing that if Stogden does well in state custody, he could be home as early as this Christmas. Holmes said he saw some sincerity in Stogden’s stated desire to stay out of further trouble.
The third boy, James Manzanares, 14, whose priors include shoplifting (including one incident where he was with co-defendant Stogdon), disorderly conduct, larceny, receiving stolen property and burglary. will appear before Ritter in the near future.