Trial begins for former Navy veteran accused of torturing dogs

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -- A Navy veteran accused of torturing and disfiguring his neighbors’ dogs decided Tuesday to represent himself in court.

The accused attacker, David Herbert, told the jury room repeatedly that he didn’t do it, adding that authorities have the wrong man.

Prosecutors in the case say the evidence and video show there’s no mistake. Herbert is accused of such torture as gouging out a Husky’s eye and pouring acid on another. 

Prosecutors say they have several smoking guns, including a bloody bat and saliva samples with DNA from the dogs taken from Herbert’s car and home.

The most compelling evidence in the case is surveillance video of a missing dog Herbert is seen driving away with. The dog was never seen again.

Other neighbors further detailed the alleged abuse inflicted on the two Huskies. One of the dogs was dumped at Camp Pendleton and, when that failed, Herbert reportedly broke into their home, gouging out one of the dog’s eye and forcing another to ingest antifreeze.

Both families said they moved, terrified Herbert would hurt their children. Herbert faces up to 16 years in prison if convicted.

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