Prison possible with new deal in dog torture case

Joseph Nelson

A Grand Junction man Thursday admitted to torturing and killing his mother’s dog after pleading guilty for the second time in just under five months.

Joseph Nelson, 18, pleaded guilty to a lone count of aggravated cruelty to animals under a plea agreement that leaves sentencing open to the discretion of District Judge Richard Gurley. The deal allows Gurley to issue a maximum prison sentence up to three years, probation, or a sentence to Mesa County Community Corrections.

Gurley on June 22 rejected the first plea agreement in the case. The deal called for Nelson to be sentenced to probation for the Aug. 14, 2011, killing of his mother’s mixed-breed dog, De Mayo.

De Mayo was found Aug. 14, 2011, by a passerby hanging by its leash from the Orchard Mesa pedestrian bridge. The dog’s internal organs were cut out and an eyeball was missing.

Nelson will be sentenced Oct. 5.

Read the full story in Friday’s Daily Sentinel.


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