David Alex is assistant district attorney and the chief of the Animal Cruelty Unit (ACU) at the Dallas County district attorney’s office. He co-founded the ACU in 2013 as a first-of-its-kind private and public financing campaign to fight animal cruelty. In 2014, he successfully prosecuted Robert Prichard for drowning a pit bull in a swimming pool: the jury gave Prichard six years in prison for this crime. Also in 2014, David prosecuted a trio of youths who set fire to a stray pit bull puppy named Justice, in Dallas. Each offender went to prison. Last year, David helped convict a habitual offender, who received 15 years for throwing his girlfriend’s cat from a 2nd story balcony. To increase the reach of the ACU, David created a “special investigator” position, funded by the SPCA of Texas, another first-of-its-kind venture.
Prior to the ACU, Alex took the lead on all cruelty cases filed. His first major case involved Mercy, the pit bull set on fire in 2006. Mercy received international attention and the jury handed down a four year sentence to abuser Deshawn Brown. Prior to this case, probation was the most likely outcome in an animal cruelty case. This case set the stage for David to start enhancing cruelty cases with deadly weapons charges, which significantly enhances sentencing. This is an innovative legal strategy he is now teaching nationwide. He trains and speaks professionally about animal cruelty for organizations such as the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association and the Texas Humane Legislative Network.
In his former role as trial bureau chief, he witnessed the link between animal and human violence and enlisted a seasoned death penalty forensic psychologist (who volunteers his services) to evaluate violent animal abusers for risk of future violence. For his outstanding service, David has earned “Prosecutor of the Year” twice for his work in criminal law. He holds a J.D. from Thurgood Marshall School of Law and served four years in the U.S. Navy. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Texas District and County Attorneys Association. He lives with his wife Bonnie, children Jorden and Jared, and his four-legged kids Bear and Shadow.