Dog killer faces 6 years in drug case

Steven Romero, taken from the federal building in Grand Junction earlier this year.

A Grand Junction man serving a three-year federal prison sentence for killing a dog faces more prison time after a series of unrelated guilty pleas Friday.

Steven Clay Romero, 38, could receive a maximum of six years in state prison after pleading guilty to felony counts of possession of a weapon by a prior offender and possession of less than a gram of methamphetamine.

Romero will be sentenced May 2 by District Judge Brian Flynn.

Under Colorado law, any prison term handed down on the weapons charge must be run consecutive to any existing prison term Romero is serving, according to Deputy District Attorney Chris Nerbonne.

Romero was sentenced in July to serve three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals, which was related to the Dec. 29, 2009, death of a dog that was dragged to its death along the west entrance of the Colorado National Monument.

At the time, Romero was free on bond after his arrest Sept. 12, 2009, at a North Avenue hotel where police recovered several baggies with methamphetamine residue and a sawed-off shotgun hidden in his pickup, according to an arrest affidavit.

Flynn last September rejected a plea agreement in the case, which called for no prison time above the term Romero currently is serving in the federal case.

The judge criticized the deal as too lenient, noting Romero’s six prior felony convictions at the time.


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