Editorial Board, May 11 through Sept. 21, 2011
- Scott Stanford, general manager
- Brent Boyer, editor
- Tom Ross, reporter
- Laura Schmidt, community representative
- Jim Miller, community representative
Contact the editorial board at 970-871-4221 or editor@SteamboatToday.com. Would you like to be a member of the board? Fill out a letter of interest now.
Steamboat Springs Routt County District Court Judge Michael O’Hara sent a strong and appropriate message to the community last week when he sentenced resident Del Herman to 10 days in jail for shooting and killing a dog in March.
In a dog-friendly town like Steamboat Springs, the killing of an old black Labrador retriever owned by the Arnone family seemed immediately senseless and cruel, and the outrage expressed by many members of the community was justified.
Herman, whose family owns and operates the Indian Trails neighborhood where Duke was shot, fired his .22-caliber gun in broad daylight within city limits. He repeatedly denied shooting the dog before eventually confessing to police and leading them to the gun hidden under insulation in the attic of his shop building.
As part of a plea agreement reached with the District Attorney’s Office, Herman will serve 1 1/2 years of supervised probation; pay about $3,400 in restitution; perform 100 hours of community service; write a letter of apology to the Arnone family; be prohibited from possessing firearms; and donate $750 to the Routt County Human Society and the Animal Assistance League.
He pleaded no contest to aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 6 felony, and reckless endangerment, a Class 3 misdemeanor. It was up to O’Hara to determine whether Herman also should spend time behind bars, although the District Attorney’s Office recommended against such punishment.
“What I can do is send the message to others that actions like this are not going to be tolerated in our community and will be dealt with harshly,” O’Hara said in court during Herman’s sentencing.
We wish no ill will for Herman, who is 70. But we believe his actions warranted the punishment he received. We should have zero tolerance in this community for reckless discharging of firearms within city limits and the killing of pets that pose no threat to personal safety or property. O’Hara’s sentencing helped make sure that message was delivered.