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Great!........and yet..........

It looks like the elk is avenged, the idiot cop punished, but there are still aspects that bother me not yet addressed directly

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, June 04, 2014.

It's no secret I spent time in jail, halfway house, and on probation, about eight years worth. So, I'm not entirely objective in discussing judicial issues and specific cases. But now Sam Carter, the former Boulder policeman who shot a bull elk with a firearm on someone's lawn at 2330 hours on New Year's Day, 2013, and who then posed with the elk's antlers as hunters do, was convicted on all counts Tuesday, and faces up to eight years in prison. He has three months till he's sentenced, and he can expect it not to be light.

Boulder and many others are ecstatic, liberal and conservative. Carter managed to offend everyone, no small accomplishment, and he doesn't seem to understand why, judging by the puzzled and tortured expressions he's worn since the verdict in newspaper photos, and the tact he took in his defense. But, except for a few, Boulder has been very restrained. For that, I commend it.

Nevertheless, the lynch mob mentality is about. It's about the only thing that could gather some compassion for Carter. Mobs, even virtual mobs in notional sense, need to be confronted and faced down, laughed at and dispersed.

Carter and his accomplice, who previously had struck a deal, are done except for the one thing that bothered many from the first: the absolute lack of much secrecy or preparation to get away with it and a concurrent assumption that he'd be fine. Carter seems to have felt he could count on an Olde Boys Network of rugged alpha males who'd understand his lust to trophy hunt in one of Boulder's wealthiest neighborhoods, and to wink and allow it with perhaps a red wrist as his only punishment and that the Boulder Police, who allocated an entire officer for the first day of a capital case on a previous Christmas, could not, or would not, solve or prosecute this case. The willing help of two other officers doesn't discourage that view.

Otherwise, we have to believe Carter has the IQ of a proton, was unaware that shotguns were loud, especially at eleven thirty at night on New Year's Day, that people might putter outside in inquiry or call authority, or that cell phones were common, and they had cameras, and folks might take a few shots. He knew the elk was a popular visitor, had done nothing except loom once unexpectedly and encouraged a mailman to ask for cover in what he called a precaution and not an incident. Carter knew the animal was not hurt. He knew kids and adults felt affection for it. It had been in the paper a lot in the last three years. He knew it was a beautiful animal. We all did.

Carter lied, and lied badly with mutually exclusive stories, tried to cover it up, tried to intimidate, tried everything in the Complete Thug handbook. But he went down, big time. He deserved to. But, I thought then, and think now, that there was more than a slightly visible indication of a corrupt police department that allowed Carter to think he'd get away with it. The alternative consideration leaves us with a cop so stupid he couldn't load a shotgun, drive, or solve a monochromatic Rubic's Cube. That discomfort has not left. You can be forgiven for thinking this blends into revenge fantasy of my own, but I've never had problems with the police, even when they arrested me. I've never seen sign of anything worthy of the word 'corruption.' But I have heard tales, and Carter's initial calm confidence bugs me.

When the Boulder Police sent one officer to sit with the Ramseys, then expecting a kidnapper to phone but who talked through the appointed time, that bothered me as well.

I'm not convinced either that the elk was a good idea to have on Mapleton Hill. I know he wasn't aggressive, I know it felt good to look up and see such a beautiful creature ten feet away chewing peacefully. But, he was still a wild animal, and I don't think it overly negative to imagine that people would start feeding him and others by hand, that eventually dogs would chase it into traffic or be skewered or trampled themselves. I used to live on Magnolia Road, and such a beast would have been indicative of heaven, and appropriate matter in place. This, was different.

He didn't deserve Carter, even though his death was kinder than any the wild offered.