Accused of hurting dogs, $1 million bail

Oceanside man will act as his own lawyer

Dog owners' home on left, Herbert's home on the right
  • Dog owners' home on left, Herbert's home on the right

David Christopher Herbert, now 37, is accused of using a knife and a baseball bat and a caustic chemical to hurt dogs that belonged to his neighbors. Herbert pleads not guilty, is set to go on trial in ten days, and intends to act as his own attorney.

David Herbert denied passport to visit family in Jamaica.

David Herbert denied passport to visit family in Jamaica.

Herbert has been charged with seven felonies for allegedly harming dogs which belonged to neighbors who rented the home next to him, on Carino Way in Oceanside. The alleged acts of animal cruelty date from February 2017 through May 2017.

There are four misdemeanors charged; Herbert denies slashing the tires on his neighbor’s cars, on four different occasions.

Herbert is currently acting as his own attorney. Judge Carlos Amour warned Herbert that he could get 16 years in prison if he is convicted of all charges; the defendant signed a form acknowledging that he understood this and wants to be his own attorney anyway.

In court paperwork, Herbert stated that he has completed 19 years of education, this includes Chapman University and University of Buffalo, plus military education. Herbert stated that he lived in San Diego County from 2007 through 2010, and was in the US military before that; he stated he is a Navy veteran. Herbert lived in New York from 2010 to 2012, while attending school there, and moved to Oceanside in June 2012.

Public records indicate Herbert bought his home for $376,000 in 2012 and sold it for $553,000 in October 2017.

Herbert was taken into custody by Oceanside police in August 2017, and he soon posted bail with a $1 million check drawn from his account at Navy Federal Credit Union. He produced a receipt showing his remaining balance as $17.25. He claimed he had no money left for an attorney, and wanted a public defender. But a judge warned Herbert that he would be required to reimburse the public defender’s office, because he apparently had the means to do so.

Herbert described himself as “self-employed,” in court paperwork.

Herbert has filed motions complaining that “present bail is excessive” and he requested his bail be lowered to $113,000. Denied.

Herbert complained it was “excessive” for a judge to demand his passports, and he requested return of his passports; he made this request in late November 2017. “Mr. Herbert desires to see his family in Jamaica over the holidays and needs his passports for such travel. Mr. Herbert has been early for every court appearance since posting bond.” Denied.

Prosecutor Teresa Pham has complained that she has received no “discovery” from the self-represented defendant, as of two weeks ago, on July 27.

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"He who represents himself has a fool for a client." --Abraham Lincoln

Herbert probably doesn't even know what "discovery" means, nor that he is required to comply. I see a conviction and prison term coming for Herbert.

dwbat, We suspect that prosecutor Teresa Pham will need a sense of humor equal to Lincoln's, to get through this trial. We are wondering if the defendant intends to question himself, in the witness box?

In February 2017, the next door neighbor came home and said she found a liquid on both her husky dogs, and the liquid seemed to have "burned" them. The veterinarian who treated the dogs, Dr. Lindsay Hackett, commented: "I have no idea what type of chemical may have caused this. It did cause a stinging sensation when we touched it and it seemed to be odorless, I've never seen anything like it." From the court file.

So this case is FINALLY going to trial. Or will it be delayed once again? So many of the scheduled trials are put off and put off again and again. We'll see.

Just another black man being prosecuted by white people.

How so? I don't see any racism involved. And the prosecutor is Asian (Vietnamese), not white.

I was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It seems that every time a black person is accused of a crime it is somehow the fault of white society.

Ahhhh, now I get it! Like OJ was persecuted, and prosecuted for murder only because he is black.

Read up on the backstory on this case. I think you will have less sympathy, even tongue-in-cheek, for this guy.

There is one utterly bizarre aspect to this case. He wrote a check for $1 million to cover the full amount of his bail. And it was written, apparently, on his own account at a credit union. Even the richest folks will use bail bondsmen to make bail, or will encumber a costly piece of real estate (supposedly worth far more than the bail amount) to cover the bond. Somehow this mystery man has a cool mil in cash laying around at the credit union? Hey, strange stuff goes down, but this one has me scratching my head for sure.

I was thinking the same thing. Where did he get that million bucks?

If he's got a million, why no proper defense? Mind freeze. Public defenders are a risk but I guess any representative is. The guy has a lot of loose screws. Can they force him to therapy or just 4 cold walls and 3 meals till he goes free? I love dogs.

After paying the million dollars bail, he no longer HAD a million! He said he was then broke, and couldn't hire an attorney.

But before he gave all the money for bail he had a million dollars! Should have thought it out a little more.

Nobody ever said criminals were smart (except for some white collar criminals). Even they can get caught, like Michael Milken and Bernie Madoff, and serve time in prison.

In court before the Honorable judge Carlos Armour, defendant David Herbert confirmed that he intends to testify in his own defense, as his only witness, in the trial in which he is acting as his own attorney. Trial is expected to last 2 weeks. Jury selection began this afternoon, Monday, August 20, 2018.

This morning Herbert objected to a media request, he said it would be too distracting if he is photographed during trial. Herbert claimed he is already recognized “around town” and that he is threatened; he said more photographs of him would only add to his troubles. Judge Armour has not decided yet if any news media will be allowed to photograph during trial.

The judge did inform Herbert that “My wife and I are members of the San Diego Humane Society,” and that the judge and his wife have rescued 3 or 4 dogs over the years, and that the judge gives money to the Humane Society every year. Defendant Herbert replied, “It’s definitely concerning to me, and I really do not know what to say to that, I really don’t.” The judge declined to disqualify himself.

Three women told the judge they did not want to consider graphic photo evidence of animal abuse, and they were excused from the jury pool. When court adjourned for the day, Monday August 30, there were nine men and three women in the jury box -- but they are not confirmed as the final selection. Jury selection resumes tomorrow morning, Tuesday, in San Diego's North County Superior Courthouse in Vista, California.

Because the defendant is acting as his own attorney, he is allowed to directly question potential jurors. This morning defendant Herbert asked if anyone in the jury pool had experience with certain breeds of dogs. One woman who responded remarked on the “personality” of a poodle she knew. This seemed to surprise Herbert, who then questioned her use of the word “personality” for an animal. Judge Carlos Armour asked the defendant if he knew the definition of the word “personality,” and defendant Herbert responded, “Maybe it’s just me, but the part of the world I was raised in, an animal does not have a soul or a personality, an animal is just an animal.” Later a different woman asked to be excused, particularly because Herbert stated that dogs do not have souls. Jury selection was finished before lunch today, Tuesday, August 21, 2018. Evidence will be presented about 2 p.m.

Its Herbert who has no Soul..if he opened his eyes on his mug shot they would be red as the devil's

Sentencing for David Herbert, 37, was delayed on October 1, 2018. The new sentencing date is now December 14, before Hon. judge Carlos Armour, the same judge who heard his trial. After the jury declared Herbert guilty of all charges, defendant Herbert then told the judge he wanted to be represented by a public defender for his sentencing.
Besides the delay, defense attorney James Weintre also spoke to the judge about difficulties getting the one million dollars — which Herbert posted as bail — back from San Diego County. Apparently, Herbert had sent an agent to post the one million dollars bail, in the form of a bank’s cashier’s check from his Navy credit union (because he was already in custody and could not do so personally), and the County only wants to release the bail money back to that agent; apparently this is not okay with David Herbert.

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