Joshua Crain has been an Assistant District Attorney General in McMinnville, Tennessee, since July 2005. He received his J.D. from the Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where he also completed an internship with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. After graduation, Joshua and his wife moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas where he obtained his LL.M. in Agricultural Law from the University Of Arkansas School Of Law. While there, he was a Graduate Assistant with the National Agricultural Law Center.
While an Assistant District Attorney General, Joshua has prosecuted several animal abuse cases, three of which have made their way into Circuit Court. Two have been tried by a jury, while one is currently pending in the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.
The first major animal abuse case that Joshua tried before a jury was the case of Lucas, a Siberian Husky whose owner filed down the dog’s teeth with a horse rasp, necessitating serious veterinary care. Lucas was removed from his owner and placed with a local humane organization, and he was ultimately adopted by a family in another state. The defendant was originally charged by a citizen with animal cruelty, a misdemeanor in Tennessee. However, Joshua’s office elected to seek the felony charge of aggravated animal cruelty and went to trial on that charge. Ultimately, he was able to convict the defendant of the lesser included offense of animal cruelty. The defendant was sentenced by the judge to 11 months 29 days to serve 75 days in jail, a significant sentence that was upheld by the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals.
In 2010, the next major animal abuse case Joshua tried before a jury involved the starving to death of a colt. Because his office could not substantiate a felony charge as the Tennessee law is written, they proceeded with a multi-count misdemeanor indictment against the defendant. Joshua’s office was able to convict the abuser of the charges after an all-day jury trial, and he was sentenced to 11 months 29 days to serve 30 days in jail.
Though animal abuse cases are among the many kinds of cases Joshua must handle on behalf of the State of Tennessee, he has always given them the same level of concern and preparation he gives any other case he is assigned.