Animal cruelty case set for trial

Matt Stensland

— Trial dates have been set for a fifth-generation Routt County rancher accused of shooting two bulls in the testicles, killing one of them.

The defendant has been charged with five felonies. The charges are criminal mischief, theft of agricultural animals, attempted theft of agricultural animals and two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals.

The trial is expected to last four days. Jury selection is scheduled to begin June 3.

The defendant’s attorneys on Friday asked Judge Shelley Hill to postpone setting dates for a trial because the accused has another case pending in Summit County, where he faces three felonies and two misdemeanors related to a domestic issue.

“This case was filed in July, and I do think we need to keep it moving,” Hill said.

According to a search warrant, a longtime South Routt County rancher learned in June from the defendant’s wife that two of his breeding bulls had been shot. The wife claimed that her husband had shot the bulls because the bulls were on their property.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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