10-29-2009, 12:23 PM
Hot Metal and Methedrine
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: The Uncanny Valley
The Superior Court trial starts today for an Oxnard man accused of dissecting his young daughter's guinea pig while high on methamphetamine because he believed it was a government spy robot.
If convicted on the drug and animal cruelty charges, 34-year-old Benny Zavala faces up to three years in state prison, but would likely only receive a year in county jail or probation because of his clean record, authorities said.
"He thought it was a robot that had a camera in the back of its head, and that federal agents were watching him," Deputy Dist. Atty. Tom Connors said in an interview.
Zavala's attorney maintains that his client has been wrongly accused. "He is innocent and I will prove that to the jury," said Deputy Public Defender Robert Dahlstedt, who declined further comment.
The case -- possibly the first felony prosecution in the area over a rodent -- has drawn the attention of national animal-rights advocates, who recently wrote to Dist. Atty. Michael D. Bradbury.
"If the allegations against Zavala are accurate, then we believe him to be in dire need of psychiatric intervention," wrote Martin Mersereau, a Norfolk, Va., caseworker for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "The safety of the community may depend on it."
Animal cruelty, according to Mersereau, can be a precursor to more violent crimes. Zavala is charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty and a misdemeanor charge of being under the influence of methamphetamine, a stimulant that can cause paranoia.
Zavala, who has been free on bail since shortly after his arrest last year, watched quietly Friday as attorneys spent five hours selecting a jury.
Finding impartial jurors for animal cruelty cases can be difficult because of the close relationships people have with their pets, attorneys say. And the Zavala case held true to form.
One woman was rejected after saying her religious beliefs include worshiping animals, and a man was dismissed when he admitted killing his family's guinea pig several years ago during a fit of rage. The man said he deeply regretted throwing the animal against a wall in his home and called the incident "the darkest moment of my life."
I think that's all that needs to be said about meth.
Re: is meth performance enhancing? It depends. If the performance in question is hiring 4 hookers and then pummeling them all until your dick is so raw you need a skin graft, then yes, it's probably performance enhancing.
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