ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – A man who scammed people out of thousands in a rental scheme might finally finish part of his jail sentence, not for his history of renting out foreclosed homes but for allegedly torturing an animal.
The prosecutor from the Attorney General’s Office in District Court Wednesday asked the judge to revoke Shaun Anaya’s probation and to serve two years, saying he violated his probation this summer when he allegedly broke three state laws.
The con man at the hearing Wednesday said he did not brutally beat and mutilate a Pit Bull puppy with power tools in the backseat of his car on June 1, as police allege in a criminal complaint.
“Did you use any power tools on this puppy?” the defense attorney asked Anaya.
“No,” he replied.Read: Shaun Anaya criminal complaint >>
Anaya said he had finished work installing the flooring at a woman’s house for his family-run construction company around midnight on June 1. He said he drove around to the back of the home to pick up some extra flooring material when he saw about four teenagers crowded around what he thought looked like a sick or injured Pit Bull puppy that had trouble keeping its balance.
He allegedly yelled at the kids, asking what they were doing. He then volunteered to take the puppy to the veterinarian without knowing the owner, according to his testimony.
However, on the way, he said he pulled over to check on the puppy and that’s when police arrived and allegedly accused him of punching and abusing the animal with a drill that Anaya confirmed was in the back of his truck, but said he didn’t use.
The prosecutor, Nicholas Gilbert, asked Anaya when he learned the puppy’s owner was the same woman who owns the home where Anaya was installing the flooring. Anaya said he had his 20 and 22-year-old daughters reach out to her on Facebook to let her know where he was and to get her phone number so Anaya could call her. The prosecutor read a transcript of Anaya’s and the woman’s phone call, in which Anaya reportedly asked her to talk to his lawyer, which the prosecutor claimed was conspiracy to commit perjury.
In a separate case in 2013, he pleaded guilty to six counts of larceny, one count of fraud and two of forgery after swindling at least two dozen renters all over Albuquerque by renting out foreclosed properties.Read: Anaya 2013 Ruling >>
After serving a year in jail of his four-year sentence, he got off with probation, which the Attorney General’s Office says he’s now violated and wants him behind bars for it.
“I ask that he be remanded into custody. He is facing a two-year habitual enhancement,” Gilbert said.
During the June arrest, police found Anaya in possession of marijuana and the AG’s Office also claimed Anaya tried to coerce a witness to come to his defense.
The judge found Anaya violated his probation for the marijuana, but wants more time to look at the evidence before making a decision on the animal cruelty and perjury allegations at the next court date on Dec. 20.
As for the puppy involved, it has since recovered from its injuries and has been adopted.