GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A Jefferson County judge has sentenced an Evergreen man to two years of probation for shooting two bears outside his home in September 2015.READ MORE: Colorado Weather: Winter Weather Advisory For The Front Range
Last year, a jury found Daniel Clay Williams, 51, guilty of illegally discharging a firearm, a felony, and animal cruelty, and illegal possession of wildlife, both misdemeanors.
When two bear cubs got into the trash outside his home, Williams told investigators he fired two rubber bullets at them. When his dog got outside, he fired one live round, striking the bears. Both died.
At a sentencing hearing on Monday, Williams told Judge Tamara Russell he thinks about the shooting daily with “remorse, sadness and regret.”
I’ve shed more tears over those cubs than anyone can possibly imagine,” Williams said.
He told Russell since the shooting he and his family have received death threats and were forced to flee to a hotel to escape animal rights activists. His business has suffered and he’s had to lay off employees, according to Williams.READ MORE: Mauricio Anchondo-Olivas Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder Of Former Roommate
“I would give anything to take it all back,” he said.
The bullet Williams fired also pierced the window of a nearby home. Noting how dangerous the shooting was, and that she is relieved no people were harmed, Russell ordered Williams complete two days of community service, and to repay a community torn apart by the shooting.
The prosecution had asked for probation with a lengthy community service sentence, rather than jail time, for Williams.
As part of his conviction, Williams must pay a $1,000 fine for each bear cub he killed and nearly $188.00 in restitution for the broken window. He must also undergo an animal cruelty evaluation and any recommended treatment.
As a convicted felon, Williams will not be allowed to possess firearms ever again, a punishment in itself, the judge noted, for Williams, who is an avid hunter.
After the shooting, the mother bear remained in a tree for 15 hours before returning to the woods.MORE NEWS: PHOTOS: Cheesman Park Homes & Governor's Mansion Vandalized With Spray Paint