BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– Testimony is underway in the trial of a former Boulder Police officer involved in the killing of a trophy elk while he was on duty.
Sam Carter, 37, says he shot the animal because it was injured but investigators say there was no sign that it was hurt before it was killed.
No one denies that Carter shot and killed the elk. What is being debated is the motive: was the elk shot and killed or mercifully euthanized?
The elk’s character is also being debated; whether it had become like a pet to neighbors or a threat to public safety.
Two residents took the stand and testified the animal was not a threat.
The defense said it plans to put a postal carrier, who claims the animal charged at him twice, on the stand.
A sergeant on duty that night said she specifically told Carter not to shoot that elk.
Lawyers began selecting jurors Tuesday. They will determine whether the killing on New Year’s Day 2013 was criminal.
District Attorney Stan Garnett is the lead prosecutor in the case where Carter faces four felony charges in addition to several misdemeanors and could go to prison if convicted.
Another police officer who helped Carter, Brent Curnow, pleaded guilty to one felony and four misdemeanor charges and was sentenced in September to one year of probation and two months of house arrest.
Garnett will make the case Carter plotted to kill the elk, hunting it down while on duty, and with the help of Curnow, hauling the carcass away as a trophy and then attempting to cover it up.
The trial is expected to last eight days.
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