BOULDER, Colo. — A Boulder jury has found the former police officer accused of shooting and killing a trophy elk guilty on all nine counts.
Sam Carter, 37, faced several felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with the plot to illegally shoot and kill the animal out of season.
During closing statements, prosecutors showed the jury text messages Cater sent to fellow officer Brent Curnow from that night.
Investigators said Carter and Curnow killed the elk in January 2013 in a Mapleton neighborhood, with little regard for the safety of others in the area. Cell phone records also suggest the two former officers had been plotting to kill the elk for over a week.
Prosecutors said Carter shot the elk, known as “Big Boy,” on Mapleton Hill while he was on duty. The officer initially told police he shot the elk because he noticed it was hurt, but a necropsy revealed no evidence of a prior injury.
“This is about a police officer using his authority to deceive people,” said Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett.
Carter’s attorney, Carrie Slinkyard, said Carter put down the animal because it was aggressive.
She added that “shoddy” police work and intense media coverage caused an “outcome based” investigation.
Slinkyard said prosecutors were “not proud of their investigation,” and “If they can’t dot their T’s and cross their I’s, Mr. Carter is not guilty.”
Carter is facing one count of attempting to influence a public official, one count of forgery and two counts of tampering with physical evidence — all felonies.
He also faces misdemeanor counts of first-degree official misconduct, illegal possession of a trophy elk with a Samson Law surcharge, conspiracy to commit illegal possession of wildlife, unlawfully taking of a big game animal out of season and unlawful use of an electronic communication device to unlawfully take wildlife.