Man wanted in Killeen animal cruelty case arrested in Ohio; extradition to Bell County inevitable

Sandi Walker, Samsonite’s rescuer, says it is justice almost two years in the making
Published: May. 31, 2023 at 9:11 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - You may remember the name Samsonite. He’s a pit bull that was rescued in Killeen in 2021 after being found severely burned and discarded in a dumpster.

Dog from Killeen recovering in Dallas area after being found burned and starved in a suitcase
Dog from Killeen recovering in Dallas area after being found burned and starved in a suitcase(Second Chance Farm)

He was rescued by Sandi Walker with Second Chance Farms in Granbury, where he has been recovering ever since.

Two men were arrested and charged for torturing Samsonite. Shortly after, both men bonded out.

Alex Cruz came back to court and faced trial where he was sentenced to three years in prison. However, Keishaw Aquino Rodriguez fled the area after getting out.

Because Rodriguez missed his court date, he added a failure to appear charge to his case.

And now, he is behind bars again. This time in Mahoning County, Ohio where he is facing a felony domestic violence charge.

Upon learning of his arrest, Bell County quickly put a hold on his case.

“It’s basically saying that we want him, do not release him, because as soon as he’s done his charges in Ohio the state of Texas or Bell County will come and get him,” says Stacey McClinton, the Administrative Lieutenant of the Bell County Sheriff’s Office.

KWTX reached out to the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio and they say that Rodriguez has not been arraigned yet but when he is, he may or may not be given the option to bond out. If he does bond out, they will immediately go into an extradition hearing where he would be sent back to Bell County to face his felony animal cruelty and failure to appear charges.

Samsonite’s rescuer, Sandi Walker, says it’s a moment almost two years in the making.

“When we found out that he had been arrested for another offense, it was a great day here at the rescue,” Walker says.

And when the time comes for Rodriguez to be back in a Bell County courtroom, Samsonite’s supporters will be front and center.

“We want to be there for sentencing, we will be there and we will pack the courtroom,” Walker says, “I am Samsonite’s spokesperson and trust me I’m not shy, and I will get out there and I will fight for him and for all the others who have been horribly abused.”

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