Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett is scheduled to meet with Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials today regarding the shooting of an elk last week by a Boulder police officer, but he said he doesn't expect a decision to be made on charges until at least Friday.
Garnett said Deputy District Attorney Jenny McClintock -- who is his office's animal cruelty specialist -- has been assigned the case and has been assisting Parks and Wildlife with the investigation into whether charges should be pressed against the Boulder police officers involved in the killing and removal of the elk.
"We're trying to treat this case like any other case that is important to the community," Garnett said this morning.
Garnett said while he is meeting with investigators today, a decision on whether or not charges will be filed most likely not come until at least Friday and possibly until next week. He said investigators are still conducting interviews and waiting on forensic evidence, including an examination of the elk's body at Colorado State University.
"We're getting a lot of inquiries about what's happening with the case," Garnett said. "It's possible we could make a decision earlier, but it feels more like something will happen at the end of the week or later."
According to police, a Boulder police officer was on patrol near Mapleton Avenue and Ninth Street at around 11 p.m. Jan. 1 when he encountered an elk that he said was injured. The officer deemed it needed to be put down and killed the elk with a shotgun, and then called an off-duty police officer to come pick up the carcass.
The on-duty officer did not tell dispatchers he was putting down the elk, nor did he report to his supervisors that he had fired his weapon.
Boulder police have identified the two officers involved as Sam Carter and Brent Curnow, and both have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the completion of an internal investigation.
Boulder County sheriff's officials say Deputy Jeff George also helped load the elk into a truck that night. He has not been placed on leave, although he, too, is subject to an internal investigation.
The shooting also is under investigation by the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Samson's Law, passed in 1998 after a well-known bull elk in Estes Park was killed by a poacher who was fined just a few hundred dollars, adds substantial fines for the killing of trophy animals. The killing of a bull elk with six-point antlers or larger can carry a fine of up to $10,000, on top of the other criminal penalties for violating hunting rules. In addition, hunting is never allowed within city limits.
Curnow called in sick on the day of the shooting and operates a website called BuffaloPeaksTaxidermy.com. Carter also called in sick the day after the shooting. ___