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Smith's animal cruelty case resolved

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Crime > Dogs found starved to death in his Santa Fe apartment

By John Severance

Jacob Smith, a former Los Alamos restaurateur and former Santa Fe Realtor, pleaded guilty Monday in Santa Fe District Court to two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.
Smith was picked up in the Austin, Texas area back in February on a district court warrant and eventually was extradited back to New Mexico.
Smith was given credit for 30 days spent in jail and was ordered to serve two years of probation in Texas, as well as 20 hours of community service and a $500 fine.
Assistant Santa Fe district attorney Jenna Yanez said, “he essentially pled guilty to the charges and it was the best result we could have hoped for.”
Smith was represented by public defender Ethan Nissani. Nissani said his client accepted the plea deal and there was not much else he could say about the case.
In November of 2012, the decomposed bodies of two dogs were taken from Smith’s Santa Fe apartment. Santa Fe police said the two dogs apparently died of starvation and police said there was no food or water that could be reached by the animals.
After the incident, Smith fled the area and was nowhere to be found.
Smith had worked for Barker Realty in Santa Fe before reportedly being fired and worked as a manager at the Hill Diner and the former Dixie Girl (now Manhattan Project) in Los Alamos, with his mother Denise Lane, who recently moved from the area to Albuquerque.
An arrest warrant was issued for Smith back in March of 2013 when he failed to appear for his arraignment and a cash bond of $5,000 was set.
He also faced a grand jury indictment, which was handed down in March of last year.
The grand jury indictment charged that Smith “negligently mistreated, injured, killed without lawful justification or tormented an animal or abandoned or failed to provide necessary sustenance to an animal under his custody or control, contrary to NMSA 1978, Section 30-18-1.”
Santa Fe Police Sgt. Andrea Dobyns said last year that Smith rented an apartment on Pino Road, which was near the Capitol.
Dobyns said Smith had paid his rent through October, but he had not been seen for about eight weeks. The dogs were eventually found when the landlord called police because he had not seen Smith for close to two months.