MONTROSE – A three-person jury will decide the fate of Dutch, the dog owned by Montrose resident Jeremiah Aguilar, who was sentenced to euthanization after attacking a woman last year. A two-day trial is set for May 16-17.
During a hearing on Friday, March 22, attorneys representing the City of Montrose and Aguilar lobbied for time to prepare for Aguilar's appeal of the Feb. 14 conviction declaring him – and Dutch – guilty of violating the city's vicious animal ordinance.
Montrose Municipal Court Judge Richard Brown ordered Dutch to be turned over to animal control pending an appeal. That has not happened, and Aguilar faces a contempt of court hearing on Thursday, April 11 at 2 p.m.
Aguilar is appealing both his Montrose Municipal Court conviction and the euthanasia order.
The victim in the Nov. 14, 2012 attack was treated for "deep bite wounds "to her buttock, thigh and hand," according to a press release from the city after the attack. The bites severed an artery and caused a compound fracture to her middle finger of her right hand. The victim has accrued over $28,000 in medical expenses since the attack.
The city is represented by retired Assistant U.S. Attorney Wyatt Angelo, because the city's new attorney, Stephen Alcorn, newly relocated from Oklahoma, is not yet certified to practice law in Colorado. Both attorneys were present at the March 22 hearing, as was Aguilar's attorney, Amy Ondos.
The May trial’s three-person jury (with one alternate) will feature testimony from both the victim and animal control officers, as well as expert witnesses for the defense in hopes of scaling back the death sentence for Dutch.
Angelo asked Judge Julie Huffmann that all persons testifying as experts be properly "identified as experts."
The judge agreed.
Aguilar maintains that Dutch is a service dog, a contention that has drawn hundreds of thousands of comments from worldwide on social media.
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‘NO BARRIERS’ AIMS TO GET VETERANS OUTDOORS
MONTROSE – The nonprofit Welcome Home Montrose Warrior Resource Center is asking everyone in the area to donate food, time and services for the upcoming No Barriers Week, June 11-17, when 30 medically retired service members will arrive in Montrose to enjoy the outdoors and educate residents about the real needs of those wounded in war.
The veterans will immerse themselves in recreational activities such as kayaking, horseback riding, rafting, fishing, hiking, golf and archery as well as photography, treasure hunting with metal detectors, hot air ballooning and panning for gold.
Those representing nonprofits, church groups, veterans groups, business owners and community members with experience in these areas who want to volunteer, can contact the WHM resource center at 11 S. Park Ave. Montrose or at 970/765-2210. Activities scheduled for each day will begin and end at the resource center.
The WHM goal is for veterans to experience the art, music and scenery of the Uncompahgre Valley. A photography class at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is planned for the week, as are Tai Chi classes.
Volunteers with CPR and/or EMS training, as well as to teachers, massage therapists, outdoor guides and recreation enthusiasts, are needed, as are river guides who can pilot donated boats and equipment.
WHM is in need of meal sponsors for at least six breakfasts, four lunches and four afternoon snacks. Donations of rain-gear, sunscreen and other outdoor essentials for participants’ backpacks are also needed. Amy Harmsen of Canyon Gallery in Montrose is putting together the backpacks, which cost of approximately $125 apiece to prepare.
Transportation donations – the use of a bus or van and/or donations earmarked for the cost of hiring vehicles through All Points Transit, transportation donations – are also being sought. Approximately seven vehicles per day is needed to transport the veterans to and from various activities.
Montrose business owner and outdoorsman Tim Kenney, a wounded veteran who is serving as project coordinator, will provide a bunkhouse and tent space for the visiting vets.
To date, three dozen local businesses and volunteers have committed their support for the program.
CITY ROLLS OUT NEW PLANS FOR ANNUAL SPRING CLEANUP
MONTROSE – This year the City of Montrose will take a new approach to this year’s annual spring cleanup, changing from curbside collection to a single collection point located on the San Juan Bypass (CO Hwy 50) directly across the street from the Sunshine Peak Apartments. Signs will be hung to direct residents to the drop-off location.
The collection site will be open on the following days: Thurs., April 25, and Fri., April 26, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat., April 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Items accepted include landscape materials such as leaves, grass clippings and limbs less than six inches in diameter; scrap materials; unwanted appliances; electronics and unmounted car and small truck tires. A fee will be charged for tires and appliances containing Freon, but other items can be dropped off free of charge.
Items that will not be accepted include routine household trash, hazardous materials, paint and large truck or tractor tires. Residents will have the opportunity to take advantage of a “free day” at the Montrose County landfill, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Saturday, April 20. For additional information call the city at 240-1480.
The drop-off program cuts back on equipment and labor costs incurred by the traditional curbside program.