You may remember the case of Buddy, a dog stolen from the owner’s pickup truck in a CO parking lot and ultimately dragged behind a truck to his death in a national park.
Melissa Lockhart, the woman who stole Buddy and his canine housemate, pleaded guilty in May to “one count of being an accessory after the fact to the crime of aggravated animal cruelty”. The US Attorney’s Office has a page up detailing the many lies Ms. Lockhart told investigators in the course of trying to cover up her crime. It’s an unsettling thought to imagine this person raising children. Sentencing is scheduled for September 17, 2010:
As a result of Lockhart’s guilty plea, she faces not more than 18 months in federal prison.
Ms. Lockhart’s brother, Steven Romero, is the person who actually killed Buddy. He too lied to everyone involved in the case in an effort to cover up or at least lessen the appearance of his crime. The judge did not go for it and gave him the maximum sentence possible: three years in prison.
Mr. Romero has 11 felony convictions on his rap sheet. So perhaps he’s quite accustomed to delivering fake-sorry remarks in court, I don’t know. But this statement from him bothered me:
“Your honor and the people of the state of Colorado, I’m sorry for what happened. I’m sorry it happened, but I can’t bring the dog back. At the time, I wasn’t thinking.”
You know what dirtbag – killing Buddy is not something that “happened”. Tornadoes happen. Spilled milk happens. With Buddy, you loaded him in the back of your pickup, drove to the CO National Monument, unloaded him, tied a rope around his neck, tied the rope to your truck, got back in your truck and drove up hill, dragging Buddy until his guts were so torn up they filled his belly with blood and he died. You say you weren’t thinking and perhaps that’s true but when specifically did you mean – during the load up, while driving to the park, during the unload, while tying the rope around Buddy’s neck… when exactly were you not thinking? Cos even if we grant your lying ass the benefit of the doubt and concede that you weren’t thinking, there had to be some point in there when you were thinking. And whenever that was, and whatever you may have been thinking at the time, makes my skin crawl.
In tribute to Buddy’s memory, I will include a portion of the article containing some words from Buddy’s owner, Mrs. Sacha Leber:
The family adopted Buddy from the Delta County Humane Society five years before his death.
In the years that followed, Buddy became a playmate for the Lebers’ three children — Isaac, Owen and Alyssa.
“Buddy was the most kind, gentle, respectful dog, especially with our children,” Leber said.
Thank you to reader Clarice for sending me the link about Mr. Romero’s sentencing.