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Local man arrested in horse shooting

An Aspen Springs man was arrested on May 24, on animal cruelty charges stemming from the alleged shooting of his neighbor’s horse.

At about 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the 1200 block of Ute Drive in Aspen Springs on a report that a horse had been shot earlier that day, said ACSO Investigator Lando Garcia.

Cpl. Jake Beach met with the owner of the horse, who reported that a neighbor had shot his horse at about 6:30 a.m. that morning, Garcia said.

Following the interview, Garcia and a veterinarian were called to the scene, at about 1:45 p.m. The horse died shortly after 2:30 p.m., Garcia said.

Garcia said the horse was outside of its fenced area at the time it was shot.

The neighbor suspected in the incident, Mark Trail, 58, was then arrested on May 24, Garcia said. Charges against Trail include theft of certain animals (because he allegedly killed the horse and therefore deprived the owner of it), a class-four felony, and cruelty to animals, a class one misdemeanor.

A search warrant was executed on Trail’s property Thursday, Garcia said.

Trail bonded out of the Archuleta County Detention Center the same day, Garcia reported.

The incident is not the first of its kind in Aspen Springs, however.

In July 2011, a horse belonging to the same owner was shot and killed, with the incident also allegedly involving Trail, Garcia said.

The two incidents are related, Garcia said.

Last summer’s incident did not result in any charges, Garcia said, due to a lack of enough evidence.

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