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FILE - This Sept. 3, 2008 file photo shows an endangered desert tortoise in the middle of a road near Ivanpah, Calif., just south of the Nevada state line. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- An elderly Pahrump man could face a jury trial in an animal abuse case from 2018, officials said Monday.

The charges against Phillip Peng, 73, move to Pahrump District Court after a hearing in the lower court resulted in a proceeding for a possible jury trial, said a spokesman of the Nye County District Attorney's Office.

Peng faces a charge of torturing, maiming, mutilating or killing an animal, a class D felony in Nevada. He is accused of drilling a hole in a desert tortoise's shell to leash it, then further abusing the animal by keeping it in water.

The veterinarian at the time of the discovery, July 2018, said the hole in the shell caused the tortoise extreme pain.

“Why would someone mistreat a desert tortoise like that? It’s a question that troubles me,” Nye County District Attorney Chris Arabia said in a written statement. “One thing that doesn’t trouble me is the felony prosecution in this matter. The previous D.A. didn’t pursue this, but I reversed that decision.” 
Peng's next hearing is July 20. He faces up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. 

Copyright 2020 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(2) comments


Nothing surprises me anymore. We've hit the bottom of the barrel. A tortoise that can't escape from being abused. There is a special place for abusive people. And we all know where that special place is.


Prison is more than a little extreme but a nice hefty fine would fit the crime.

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