Man whose trap killed a dog in Paris in 2012 is sentenced to 90 days in jail

gkocher1@herald-leader.comMarch 11, 2014 

Photo by Kevin van Gelderen | ThinkStockphoto.com

PARIS — Greg Tyra, who set a trap in a public park where it killed a dog in 2012, was sentenced Tuesday to 90 days in jail plus five years of probation.

Tyra, 44, of Montgomery County, pleaded guilty in January to second-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree cruelty to animals, and entry on land to hunt or fish without consent.

Tyra must report to the Bourbon County jail Friday to begin his sentence.

Tyra didn't speak before Bourbon Circuit Judge Paul Isaacs handed down the sentence. His attorney, Ben Shields of Mount Sterling, said Tyra was "extremely remorseful" for the loss of the dog.

Sophie, a rare French hound called a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, died in January 2012 when the metal trap clamped shut around her neck.

The death happened as Robin Redmond of Paris took Sophie and another dog for a walk in Garrard Park north of downtown Paris.

Redmond attended the sentencing and tearfully read a statement in court as Tyra stood a few feet away.

Redmond said that Sophie "died in front of my eyes," and that "something has to make an impression on Mr. Tyra."

The trap that killed Redmond's dog was a 220 Conibear "body-gripping" trap commonly used to kill raccoons, muskrats and groundhogs. The trap had been placed among rocks along a creek bank.

An animal control officer and a state Fish and Wildlife Resources conservation officer searched both sides of the creek bank and found three more traps. Two of those were found on the property of Pleasant Street Preschool, eight to 10 feet from a fenced-in playground.

Two more traps were found in Legion Park, another public park in Paris. The conservation officer had received a complaint about a seventh trap earlier that week.

Police later saw Tyra holding animal traps in Garrard Park and confronted him. Tyra acknowledged that he had set the traps in the park. He also told police he had more than 50 traps set in Bourbon County "but refused to tell where they were," according to a complaint filed in court.

A police search of Tyra's pickup found a loaded .22-caliber pistol in a holster behind the seat. Under the terms of the plea, Tyra must forfeit the firearm, and as a felon he would not be allowed to own other firearms. Tyra was indicted on a charge of carrying a concealed deadly weapon, but that charge was dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Six other counts of first-degree wanton endangerment were merged into one count of second-degree wanton endangerment.

Tyra also must pay $1,500 restitution for the dog and a $250 fine plus court costs, and he must surrender his trapping license for five years. Judge Isaacs also ordered random drug testing, which is routine in probation cases.

This was not the first case in which a trap set by Tyra killed a dog.

Montgomery County court records show that Tyra pleaded guilty in July 2012 to misdemeanor trapping violations after a dog died there. In that case, a black Labrador mix named Billy Boy died after he stuck his head into a trap that had been set in a culvert on Aarons Run Road near Mount Sterling. The dog died in December 2011, just a few weeks before Redmond's dog died in Paris.

Tyra paid a fine and court costs totaling $403, and he surrendered his trapping license for two years in that case.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

Lexington Herald-Leader is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service