Judge denies change of venue request for Boulder officer accused of killing elk

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A cell phone photo shows former Boulder officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow examine the deceased elk on January 1, 2013. (Photo: Boulder Police Department)

A cellphone photo shows former Boulder officers Sam Carter and Brent Curnow examine the deceased elk on January 1, 2013. (Photo: Boulder Police Department)

BOULDER, Colo. — A judge denied a request by a former Boulder police officer accused of shooting a trophy elk to move his trail elsewhere Wednesday.

Sam Carter is accused of shooting the elk in a Boulder neighborhood on New Year’s Day.  Fellow officer Brent Curnow was accused of helping Carter plan the shooting and cover it up.

Curnow pleaded guilty to one felony count of tampering why physical evidence and four misdemeanor counts. He was sentenced Tuesday to one year probation and 60 days of house arrest.

The judge also ordered Curnow to serve 120 hours of community service.  He received a two-year deferred sentence for the felony tampering charge. As long as he complies with the terms of his sentence, the felony will be wiped from his record, the judge said.

The Boulder District Attorney’s Office said it has not extended a similar plea deal to Carter.

Investigators say Carter and Curnow killed the elk on January 1 in a Mapleton neighborhood, with little regard for the safety of others in the area. Cell phone records also suggest the two former officers had been plotting to kill the elk for over a week.

An arrest affidavit stats that Carter shot the elk while on duty, and that Curnow, who had called in sick to work, arrived to haul the animal away in a pickup truck. The duo snapped photos of themselves with the deceased elk, as well.

Carter has insisted he shot the elk because he saw it wounded, though he gave no reason for why he did not report the shooting. And a later a necropsy on the animal provided no evidence of a prior injury.

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