June 5th, 2014 by Eric Phelps
On New Year’s Day in 2013, now disgraced former Boulder, Colorado police officer, Sam Carter, spotted Big Boy, a beloved neighborhood elk in the Mapleton area of the city. Officer Carter then approached Big Boy, drew his service weapon, and shot the beloved animal to death. He then posed standing over Big Boy’s lifeless body for several photos. Then he called a fellow off duty officer, Brent Curnow, to come and collect the body and butcher it.
Once the word got out about what had taken place and anger from the community began to grow, Officer Carter tried to cover up the crime. He claimed that he “euthanized” Big Boy because the elk was aggressive. However, it was pretty clear that Officer Carter killed the elk to collect his head as a trophy. Carter was later fired from the police force and formally charged with nine counts in the killing of Big Boy.
On this past Tuesday in a Boulder courtroom, a jury of his peers convicted him on all nine counts, including four felonies. Carter was convicted on felony counts of attempting to influence a public official, one count of forgery, and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.
He was also convicted on 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.
IDA worked diligently on behalf of Big Boy to ensure this case was handled with the seriousness it deserved. It’s bittersweet victory, but a victory nonetheless. Carter faces up to six years in prison and will be sentenced in August.