Man accused of dragging dog to death expected to plead guilty

Posted By elaine on March 30, 2010

dog dragging suspects

Romero and his sister Melissa Lockhart

According to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinal, federal prosecutors have struck a plea agreement with a man accused of torturing and killing a stolen dog on Colorado National Monument.

Steven Clay 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 Romero’s agreement with prosecutors aren’t specified.

Edward Pluss, Romero’s federal public defender, filed notice of the plea agreement Thursday in U.S. District Court in Denver. Both sides in the case are expected to meet next week to schedule a plea hearing.

Without the benefit of a plea agreement, Romero faced a maximum of three years in federal prison for allegedly tying a stolen dog, a German shepherd mix named Buddy, to the back of his pickup in the predawn hours of Dec. 30, 2009, and dragging the animal to its death several miles up the west entrance of Colorado National Monument.

 

Romero’s sister, Melissa Lockhart, 32, still faces state charges for allegedly stealing a pair of dogs, including Buddy, from a pickup in downtown Delta on Dec. 29.

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