Colorado animal lover doused neighbor's ranch in gasoline and tried to burn it after he killed a much-loved bear, gets two years probation
A Colorado animal lover had attempted to burn down his neighbor's ranch after the neighbor killed a bear that regularly visited his property.
69-year-old animal lover Thomas Andersen has been handed two years of probation as a result of his deed on Monday.
Andersen was sentenced after he pleaded guilty to felony attempted arson and misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He is also required to pay a fine of $2,500 and perform around 60 hours of community service in addition to completing an anger management evaluation.
Andersen had grown fond of the bear which often visited his property and was beyond furious when his neighbor shot the animal on September 17 last year, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office.
He then responded by dousing a part of the neighbor's ranch in gasoline and also berated his children.
Andersen's wife read out a statement in court where she spoke about her husband's work ethic and love for animals.
Before the sentencing took place, she had asked the Pitkin County District Judge, Chris Seldin, to consider her husband's age as well as the amount of time that he could spend with family, reported Aspen Daily News.
She shared, "I want you to know that Tom respects the law. Please be merciful for my sake and the sake of my children."
On the other hand, the court found that the hunter neighbor had a bear license and the killing was legal.
Deputy District Attorney Don Nottingham said that the bear had been killed for its meat and explained that Aspen is home to a diverse group of people, some of whom are more liberal than others. He stressed that the debate around hunting is ongoing but "what can't be debated is the incorrectness of Mr. Andersen's response."
During the trial, Andersen did not speak but his attorney Joseph Saint-Veltri said that the bear's death was "a startling incident" for his client and added that Andersen was aware that his actions were extreme. He said, "Was his conduct appropriate? Not entirely and he has conceded that."