Justice for Buddy

Posted By elaine on July 31, 2010

Romero being escorted into Federal Court. (Grand Jct Sentinal)

A man who pleaded guilty to dragging a dog to death in western Colorado has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.

Thirty-eight-year-old Steven Clay Romero of Grand Junction was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Philip Brimmer in Denver.

Lockhart still awaits sentencing for her role in Buddy's death.

The dog, named Buddy, was found dead on Dec. 30 on the Colorado National Monument. He had a rope tied around his neck.  Prosecutors said Romero and his sister, Marie Lockhart, stole Buddy and another dog from a pickup.

Romero pleaded guilty in April to aggravated animal cruelty. Romero dragged Buddy behind his pickup through Colorado National Monument, and “in doing so needlessly mutilated, tortured and killed the dog,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

"Buddy" was found in the early morning at Colorado National Monument. (NPS)

"Buddy" was found dragged to death in the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction. (NPS)

Lockhart has pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the act. She had been accused of lying about the death of the dog.  She could face up to three years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000.

This was the maximum sentence Romero could have gotten.  One top of that U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer also fined Romero $500 and ordered him to pay $345 to Buddy’s owners.

Buddy’s death and the subsequent arrest of Romero set off a wave of protests against animal cruelty, including a Facebook page on which more than 120,000 people signed a petition to “Demand Justice for Buddy.”

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