Thursday, December 31, 2009

State outrage

"A Fruita man accused of dragging a dog to death on Colorado National Monument was ordered today held without bond over the coming weekend.

Steven Romero, 37, is scheduled for a detention hearing and arraignment Monday afternoon at the Wayne N. Aspinall federal building. Romero, shackled and dressed in a yellow jumpsuit from the Mesa County Jail where he’s being held, expressed bewilderment at the allegations.

“I don’t get it,” he said of the charges, sitting alone at the defendant’s table in court this afternoon. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Heldmyer then rose from her seat, walked toward Romero, and tossed a copy of the charges on the table in front of Romero.

Heldmyer asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Laird Milburn to order Romero held without bond for the next three days, requesting the detention hearing be scheduled for Monday. She indicated the government at that time will seek to keep Romero locked up.

Romero expressed concerns about sitting in the jail over the weekend and said he’ll be hiring his own attorney. He told the judge he’s employed as an over-the-road trucker.

“So, in other words I’ll be sitting in jail and probably lose my job, too?” Romero asked Milburn.

“Yes,” the judge responded.

Romero faces a maximum three years in prison, and a fine up to $100,000 and a year of mandatory parole, if convicted on a federal charge of felony cruelty to animals."

Sitting in jail and losing his job should be the least of his worries. He is lucky he was held without bond. The crime is outrageous and the public response is appropriate according to the crime. If he were able to bond out, from what I read, there may be people willing to risk jail to do some damage to him. The evidence is pretty overwhelming. He told one witness that he was going to kill the dog. The monument has his truck on camera going in with the dog in the back and then coming out shortly after without the dog. The owner posted a comment on the first article that it was his dog and had been stolen from Delta along with a second dog. The second dog is safe and on his way home, thank heavens. No one has been stupid enough to argue that public reaction is too strong because it is "just a dog". Everyone who has commented appears to have the sense of knowing that if this guy would commit this kind of crime against an animal, he probably wouldn't hesitate to commit this kind of a crime against another human being. The only thing good that may come out of this terrible event is that because it was a crime committed on the National Monument it is federal. The feds have a way of bringing the hammer down in a way state and local law enforcement can't. I wish them well. I don't want this man on the street anytime soon. Callie got extra hugs tonight and my protective nature regarding her has obviously increased. It would kill me if she came to harm through the violence of an individual or group. No one will love you like a dog will. Unconditionally. She trusts me to protect her and I take that responsibility very seriously.

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