Herman pleads no contest in dog shooting | SteamboatToday.com

Herman pleads no contest in dog shooting

Agreement calls for probation, restitution, community service, apology

— Steamboat Springs resident Del Herman on Tuesday pleaded no contest to two charges related to the shooting of a dog in the Indian Trails neighborhood in March.

He pleaded no contest to aggravated cruelty to animals, a Class 6 felony, and reckless endangerment, a Class 3 misdemeanor.

The reckless endangerment charge was related to Herman's discharging a firearm in the city.

Herman's attorney, Sandy Horner, had hoped to finish the criminal proceedings against his client Tuesday, but District Court Judge Michael O'Hara was in the middle of a jury trial and said he needed to set sentencing for a later date.

O'Hara accepted Herman's plea and read the details of the agreement reached between Horner and Chief Deputy District Attorney Rusty Prindle.

The agreement calls for Herman to be on supervised probation for 1 1/2 years. If he successfully completes the probation, the felony conviction will be dismissed.

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The court has been left with the discretion to sentence Herman to as many as 90 days in jail. That will be decided during sentencing scheduled for 1 p.m. June 2.

"It's up to the judge," Prindle said.

Pat Arnone, whose family owned the black Labrador retriever named Duke, told O'Hara he wanted to address the court during sentencing.

The plea agreement also calls for Herman to pay nearly $3,400 in restitution, perform 100 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to the Arnone family. Herman will be prohibited from possessing firearms and must also donate $750 to the Routt County Humane Society and the Animal Assistance League.

Horner told the judge that Herman had completed an anger management evaluation and there was no recommendation for treatment.

— To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email mstensland@SteamboatToday.com

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