Woman pleads not guilty in theft of dragged dog

Melissa Lockhart

A woman accused of stealing a dog that her brother has been accused of killing on Colorado National Monument pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

Melissa Lockhart, 32, who is charged with felony theft, entered the plea in Delta County Combined Courts, according to court records. Lockhart is scheduled for a jury trial Aug. 16.

The Fruita resident is charged separately by federal authorities with misleading investigators in the case of a dog named Buddy. Steven Clay Romero, 38, has been accused of tying the dog to the back of a pickup and dragging it to death on Dec. 30.

An arrest affidavit alleges Lockhart told her brother to get rid of the dog after it had attacked a family cat. Authorities allege she stole the dog from a pickup in Delta on Dec. 29.

Romero, who in January pleaded not guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals, is expected to enter a guilty plea April 29 in Denver. He faces a maximum of three years in federal prison and $100,000 fine.


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