Tag: colorado national monument
Steven Clay Romero, the man who dragged a dog named Buddy to his death at the Colorado National Monument, received the maximum sentence of three years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Romero, 38, of Grand Junction, will spend three years in federal prison, followed by 12 months of supervised parole for aggravated animal cruelty in the dog’s death Dec. 30, 2009, the Montrose Press reported.
He also was fined $500 and ordered to pay $343 in restitution to Buddy’s owners.
The dog, reported stolen from the back of a pickup truck in Delta, Colorado, was found with a rope tied around his neck at the monument. Surveillance photos and marks in the snow indicated Buddy had been dragged behind a pickup truck while still alive.
Romero’s sister, Melissa Lockhart, 32, is charged as an accessory after the fact to aggravated animal cruelty for allegedly attempting to cover up Buddy’s death. Conviction could bring up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
A theft complaint filed against her for stealing the dog was dismissed June 10, court records show.
The torture and killing of Buddy triggered a Facebook site, Demand Justice For Buddy, which as of Friday had 267,713 members.
Posted by jwoestendiek August 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, buddy, colorado, colorado national monument, death, delta, dog, dragged, dragging, facebook, grand junction, justice for buddy, lockhart, maximum, melissa, melissa lockhart, news, ohmidog!, pets, pickup, prison, romero, sentence, steven, steven clay romero, steven romero, stolen, three years, truck
Steven Romero pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of aggravated animal cruelty in connection with the death of Buddy, a stolen German shepherd mix who was dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in the Colorado National Monument.
While the charge carries a maximum sentence of up to three years in prison and a $100,000 fine, it was expected that prosecutors would offer a reduced sentence in exchange for his guilty plea.
Buddy was found dead on Dec. 30. Romero is accused of putting a rope around the dog’s neck and driving until the dog was dead.
Romero, 38, will remain in custody until his sentencing, scheduled for July 30, according to 9News.
“It’s a good day for animal lovers and I’m happy to see this happen. It was the right thing for him to do to accept responsibility,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Meyer said.
Prosecutors say Romero’s sister, 32-year-old Melissa Lockhart, stole the pup from a pickup truck in Fruita and told him to “get rid” of it. Lockhart faces a felony charge for lying to investigators. She will appear in court on May 10 in Grand Junction.
A Facebook page was created in the wake of Buddy’s death. It is called “Demand Justice for Buddy” and has more than 260,000 members around the world.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 30th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, buddy, colorado, colorado national monument, court, deal, death, dog, dragged, dragging, facebook, federal, fruita, grand junction, justice for buddy, melissa lockhart, monument, news, ohmidog!, pets, plea, steven romero, stolen
In a quiet ceremony Thursday, the dog’s owners, the Leber family of Delta, again said goodbye to Buddy, whose death touched thousands, and later toured the humane society, according to The Daily Sentinel in Grand Junction.
“It’s pretty cool to see people think about animals the way we do,” Sasha Leber said.
The stone, etched with paw prints heading toward a setting sun, was donated and placed in a bed of flowers by Snyder Memorials of Grand Junction. It reads, “In memory of Buddy, and all the animals who have no one to weep for them.”
Steven Romero, 38, is expected to change his plea to guilty to a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals in connection with Buddy’s Dec. 30 death. A hearing is scheduled April 29 in federal court in Denver.
The Lebers plan to attend the court hearing, and in the days before, a candlelight vigil at the humane society.
Buddy was cremated and his ashes are in an urn at their home, Sasha Leber said.
After more than three months since Buddy was stolen from the back of their pickup in Delta, the family still questions why Buddy, and their other dog, Max, a black Labrador retriever and pit bull mix, were taken. Neither knew Melissa Lockhart, 32, of Fruita, who is accused of taking the dogs.
Lockhart, who is Romero’s sister, has pleaded not guilty to stealing the dogs and is slated for trial Aug. 16.
(Photo: Christopher Tomlinson / The Daily Sentinel)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 2nd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, buddy, colorado national monument, cruelty to animals, death, delta, dogs, dragged, dragging, grand junction, joe leber, marker, melissa lockhart, memorial, monument, news, ohmidog!, pets, roice-hurst humane society, sasha leber, steven romero, stolen, stone, truck
Federal prosecutors have struck a plea agreement with Steven Clay Romero, the Colorado man accused of dragging a stolen dog to his death at Colorado National Monument.
Romero faced a maximum of three years in federal prison for allegedly tying Buddy, a German shepherd mix, to the back of his pickup truck in the predawn hours of Dec. 30, 2009, and dragging him several miles.
Romero, 38, of Grand Junction, is expected to plead guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals, the lone count lodged against him by a federal grand jury earlier this year, according to court filings. The terms of the plea agreement aren’t yet known, the Grand Junction Sentinel reported.
Romero’s sister, Melissa Lockhart, 32, still faces state charges for allegedly stealing Buddy and another dog from the back of a pickup truck in downtown Delta on Dec. 29.
Lockhart told her brother to “get rid” of the dog after it had attacked a family cat, according to an arrest affidavit.
As of Friday afternoon, Romero, who had entered a not guilty plea, was in custody in the Mesa County Jail without bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on drug charges in connection with another case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer has said she would pursue a stiff penalty in the case, which brought international attention to Grand Junction. “This isn’t just the United States of America v. Romero,” Heldmyer told a judge in January. “This is the world v. Romero.”
(For our previous posts on Buddy, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek March 29th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agreement, animal cruelty, buddy, colorado, colorado national monument, death, dog, dragged, dragging, german shepherd, grand junction, mix, news, ohmidog!, pickup truck, plea, reached, romero, steven clay romero
Steven Clay Romero — accused in dragging a dog named Buddy to his death at Colorado National Monument– pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges in federal court Wednesday.
His sister, 32-year-old Melissa Lockhart, failed to appear at her hearing, and a warrant for her arrest was issued.
Romero is accused of dragging the dog for three miles behind his pick-up truck last month. Lockhart, who allegedly stole the dog from a couple in Delta, reportedly told Romero to get rid of Buddy after he mauled a family cat. She is also charged with animal cruelty.
In court yesterday, Romero’s attorney asked for more time to review the case. He told the judge he has received more than 930 pages of discovery evidence including numerous CD’s and DVD’s, according to KJCT in Grand Junction.
Before the hearing, supporters of Buddy delivered to the U.S. District Attorney petitions with more than 100,000 signatures the suspects receive the maximum sentence if convicted.
(For our previous posts on Buddy, click here.)
Posted by jwoestendiek January 28th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, buddy, colorado national monument, death, dog, dragged, dragging, federal court, killed, melissa lockhart, not guilty, plea, steven clay romero