Judge sinks plea agreement in dog torture case
District Judge Richard Gurley today rejected a plea agreement in the case of a man who killed his mother’s dog last August.
“I don’t feel it provides the court enough options,” Gurley told attorneys Friday, explaining his rejection of a proposed deal in the case of 18-year-old Joseph Nelson, the Grand Junction resident who admitted to killing his mother’s dog, before hanging its mutilated carcass from the Eagle Rim Park pedestrian bridge over the Colorado River.
The rejected plea agreement called for probation following Nelson’s guilty plea earlier this year to felony aggravated cruelty to animals. The deal allowed for Gurley to decide terms and length of Nelson’s probation. It also allowed a possible maximum 90 days in the Mesa County Jail, while Deputy District Attorney Jason Conley called on the judge to accept the deal and impose a stiff jail term.
“The People believe anything less (than 90 days) would unduly depreciate the seriousness of this offense,” Conley told the judge.
That wasn’t good enough, Gurley concluded.
The judge ordered Nelson’s case to return on July 10.
Read the full story in Saturday’s Daily Sentinel.