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Buddy’s dragging followed attack on cat

An arrest affidavit says Steven Clay Romero, the man accused of dragging a dog to his death at Colorado National Monument, was told to “get rid” of the stolen animal after it had attacked a family cat.

The Grand Junction Sentinel is reporting that, prior to being dragged behind a pickup truck for two miles, the stolen dog, named Buddy, had attacked a family cat, leading Melissa Lockhart and Krista Morris to tell Romero to get rid of him.

“Steven left with the dog and returned without it. Steven told Melissa and Krista he had dragged the dog to death,” the affidavit states. It was filed in Delta County Court in support of the arrest of 32-year-old Melissa Lockhart — Romero’s sister — on charges of theft and false reporting,

According to the affidavit, Morris, whose connection to Romero isn’t specified, told Delta police that Lockhart on late Dec. 29 or early Dec. 30 had brought a pair of dogs to Morris’ Grand Junction home, asking that they be kept there for awhile.

Later, Morris met with officers and returned one of the two dogs, a black Labrador named Max. Both dogs were stolen from a pickup truck belonging to Joseph and Sacha Leber. A witness to the dog thefts called police to report the license plate of the suspect’s vehicle, which led back to Lockhart’s home in Fruita, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said Lockhart insisted her children had told her the dogs were found in an abandoned house.

“Melissa and Krista requested Steven get rid of the dog, and he did so,” the affidavit said. “Steven returned and told Melissa and Krista about the event, and they attempted to lie and mislead law enforcement during the entire investigation,” police said in the affidavit.

Morris has not been arrested or charged in connection with the dog’s death.

(For all of our coverage of Buddy, click here.)


Comment from Danni
Time January 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm

My heart aches for the dogs’ owners, and I am grateful they have Max back. Please everyone, let this be a lesson to never, ever, EVER, leave your dogs in the back of a pickup alone. What used to be wonderful fun for our dogs has now become risky because of idiots like this guy. Other prisoners, I believe, do not take kindly to this type of cruelty and those who perpetuate it.