Mistrial declared in extreme animal cruelty case

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico couple on trial for animal abuse, that outraged people around the world, may have caught a huge break because of a police mistake. It was a mistake that had a judge declaring a mistrial Wednesday.

“Hubble” the dog and his four chain mates were rescued from a Las Vegas, New Mexico home in 2015.

Hubble was the worst off. The pup ultimately died after a major effort to save him.

This week Hubble’s supporters hoped to finally see Alex Alirez and Panchita Maes found guilty for the dog’s death. But those chances have been quashed, at least for now.

A mistrial was declared Wednesday morning.

Prosecutors in the San Miguel District Attorney’s Office wouldn’t go on-camera but said when Las Vegas police were testifying in court, police mentioned an audio recording and a police report that prosecutors didn’t know about.

The defense didn’t know about the evidence, either. Prosecutors said LVPD told them they thought that evidence was handed over.

Prosecutors say they plan to re-try Alirez and Maes, but a new trial date has yet to be set.

Each was charged with one count of extreme animal cruelty for Hubble and four counts of animal cruelty for the other dogs.

The case triggered such outrage that thousands of people signed an online petition urging police and the DA’s Office to go after the couple.

No one had been prosecuted for animal cruelty in Las Vegas in at least a decade.

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