Roscoe the dog’s animal cruelty trial begins today
SUMMIT COUNTY – Jury selection was to begin this morning for a three-day trial involving a Silverthorne man who is charged with animal cruelty against his 5-month old bulldog, Roscoe. The case, which is being tried in Summit District Court, has garnered attention from the world’s largest animal rights organization, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.Nathan Suchecki was arrested on April 27, 2004, two weeks after Summit County Animal Control seized his dog.Officers found Roscoe with broken ribs and legs, a broken jaw, facial fractures and he was significantly underweight, lead animal control officer Lesley Craig said.Roscoe was later adopted by a family from the Front Range.Craig said control officers had been to Suchecki’s house in March 2004 after a veterinary clinic informed them of a leg fracture.At the time, the visit was purely educational and Suchecki was not issued a warning, Craig added.In April, the office received a complaint from Suchecki’s neighbor, which is when officers obtained a warrant and took the dog into protective custody, she said.PETA issued a statement Tuesday beseeching Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham to ask the judge for jail time, a psychological evaluation, mandatory counseling and anger management classes if Suchecki is convicted.”Animal abusers are cowards,” said PETA cruelty caseworker Daniel Paden. “They take their issues out on the most defenseless beings available to them. Summit County residents have reason to be concerned.”The charge against Suchecki is a Class 6 felony, which is the lowest felony class, Oldham said.If convicted, Suchecki faces one year to 18 months in jail and fines ranging from $1,000 to $100,000.Oldham said a mental evaluation can be an option at the sentencing phase.County Court Judge Ed Casias will preside over the case as District Judge David Lass is on sabbatical.
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