ELKO — A young man involved in shooting a cow was sentenced Monday to probation and to pay more than $1,400 in restitution.
A Thorpe Creek Ranch Red Angus cow was found dead in March 2012 with a bullet hole through its neck and a large section of meat missing from its body.
In relation to the crime, Jayce J. Blevins pleaded guilty Aug. 26 to attempted unlawful killing of an animal belonging to another person — which can be recognized as a gross misdemeanor or a Category D felony.
The prosecution and defense agreed in the plea deal to recommend the judge give Blevins a gross misdemeanor if he paid about $1,450 in restitution.
Deputy District Attorney Tyler Ingram told the court Monday the restitution money was secured in a trust account.
On behalf of the state, Ingram didn’t make a specific sentencing recommendation, but asked District Judge Nancy Porter to consider the importance of cattle in this region.
“It was pretty obvious that this was a silly and senseless crime, and especially here in Elko County where livestock is a livelihood,” he said.
Porter scolded the defendant for destroying valuable property, but more so, she said, for likely causing the animal to suffer.
“I think you understand the economic impact of what you did,” Porter said. “… But there’s a little more to this too. This wasn’t just somebody’s property. This was a living thing. And what you did, I think, was cruel.”
Porter said she didn’t take the killing lightly.
Blevins told the court he took full responsibility for the crime.
“What I did was wrong,” he said. “I’m doing everything I can to continue on the straight and narrow.”
Blevins guaranteed the judge would never see him in court again.
Porter sentenced Blevins to six months in jail, suspended for 36 months probation, to pay restitution and other court fees, and abstain from alcohol.
She said his youth — Blevins will turn 22 next month — factored into her decision to not give the defendant a felony sentence.
According to court documents, Blevins and a friend, Remington Knotts, went out shooting one night and ended up shooting a cow.
Later, while looking for a cellphone, the pair returned and saw the cow was still alive and decided to kill it. Then they cleaved a section of meat from its hind quarter.
A group of Great Basin College students were overheard talking about the crime by another student who called the cops, court documents state.
No charges were ever filed against Knotts.