Apr 30, 2010 9:02 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
A Grand Junction man accused of dragging a stolen dog to its death in Colorado National Monument has pleaded guilty to a federal charge of aggravated animal cruelty.
Steven Romero entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Denver Thursday. He faces up to three years in prison, or a fine of up $100,000 or both when sentenced July 30. Buddy, a German shepherd mix, was found dead Dec. 30 at the national monument in western Colorado.
Prosecutors say the 38-year-old Romero placed a rope around Buddy's neck and drove until the dog died.
Prosecutors say Romero's sister, Melissa Lockhart, stole the dog and told her brother to "get rid" of it. Lockhart faces a felony charge for lying to investigators.