For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: January 28, 2009

Former Deputy Sheriff Enters Plea in Animal Shooting Case

(Boise) – Former Teton County Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Gutierrez pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing, in violation of Idaho Code § 18-7008(10). The charge stems from a November 12, 2007 incident in which Gutierrez, while investigating a citizen’s complaint of a vicious dog, shot and wounded a dog owned by Leo Barboza of Felt, Idaho.

By pleading guilty, Gutierrez admitted that he violated Idaho Code § 18-7008(10), which prohibits “entering the property of another and, being unprovoked, intentionally and without the consent of the animal’s owner, kills or injures a domestic animal not his own.”

Gutierrez entered his plea in Teton County Magistrate Court in Driggs, pursuant to a plea agreement. Magistrate Judge Colin Luke sentenced Gutierrez to 30 days in jail, with 25 days suspended and 5 days on the sheriff’s inmate labor detail. The court also required Gutierrez to pay a $100 fine and serve 6 months of unsupervised probation. The court granted a withheld judgment.

The Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Unit handled the case at the request of former Teton County Prosecuting Attorney Bart Birch.

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