Edward McMorris: Judge nixes felony charges in beating case of puppy named Tater
Now, however, a Boulder judge says the facts of the case don't justify the felony animal cruelty charge prosecutors had aimed at him.
As we've reported, Boulder Police officers were called to an area near the intersection of Broadway and Canyon Boulevard at about 11:48 p.m. on August 29, where they saw McMorris, described as a 26-year-old transient, dragging Tater by a leash.
When cops asked him to give them the dog, he's said to have refused and then reached for what's described as a "large metal object" hanging from his belt -- an action deemed sufficiently provocative that one of the officers tackled him. Witnesses later told police that McMorris repeatedly kicked Tater, even stomping on his head. The dog's cries were so loud that one woman driving past thought she'd run over him.
McMorris's appearance has gone through some serious changes in recent years. Here's a 2009 shot of him from his still-active Facebook page....
...and here's a larger look at his booking photo.
McMorris in 2009.
After McMorris's arrest, Tater, who was reportedly born at a Rainbow Family gathering, was taken to the Boulder Emergency Animal Clinic, where his injuries were determined not to be life-threatening. As such, he was transferred to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, where a number of McMorris's friends tried to adopt him without success. They all proclaim McMorris's innocence.
McMorris's late August mug shot.
Boulder County Judge David Archuleta didn't go quite that far during a court hearing yesterday covered by the Boulder Daily Camera. But neither did he agree that the actions for which McMorris has been accused rise to the felony level, particularly given that Tater suffered no permanent injuries.
The Boulder District Attorney's Office can appeal that decision or re-file against McMorris at the misdemeanor level, knowing that he's still got a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a police officer hanging over his head. In the meantime, McMorris remains in Boulder County Jail on a $3,000 bond. Likewise, Tater is still at the Humane Society; he won't be put up for adoption until the case against McMorris is resolved.
Here's a look at Tater.
Continue for previous coverage.