Nevada Appeal News Service
Fallon - A teen accused of helping his younger brother stab a llama to death in December pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing the animal.
Warren James Baglin, 19, entered his plea before District Judge Robert E. Estes. He and his 17-year-old brother reportedly stabbed the llama repeatedly on Dec. 18 in a field off the Reno Highway.
Defense attorney Paul Drakulich told Judge Estes that his client participated in the killing but didn't want to.
"Mr. Baglin was with his brother and the brother had conveyed to him a desire to kill a llama. He participated but he didn't want to do that," Drakulich said. "After the llama had been seriously wounded, Mr. Baglin participated in ending its life."
"Are you saying this was a mercy killing?" Judge Estes asked Drakulich.
District Attorney Arthur Mallory said Baglin agreed to plans to kill a llama, was an active participant in the slaying and was the only adult present.
Judge Estes set sentencing for April 5. Baglin faces one to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Drakulich asked that his client be released from the Churchill County Jail on his promise to appear in court for sentencing. He has remained in jail in lieu of $32,000 cash bail since his arrest Dec. 19. Drakulich said this is Baglin's first offense as an adult.
Mallory objected to the request, saying Baglin has prior offenses as a juvenile.
Judge Estes reduced bail to $5,000 cash.
The llama, valued at $18,000, belonged to Churchill County resident John Trauth. He raises the animals on his ranch west of town as show animals and family pets.
According to police reports, the two brothers were at a friend's house when the younger teen suggested killing a llama. His brother agreed, and the two took a "Rambo knife" and a "pig sticker" to Trauth's ranch just before midnight.
Police allege the brothers chased the animals until they cornered one and began stabbing it in the throat.
When Baglin was interviewed by Churchill County investigators, he allegedly said he felt "sick" after the first stab wound caused blood to gush from the llama. He said he began cutting the animal's throat so it would die quickly and not suffer, police reports state.
The younger Baglin was under the supervision of juvenile probation officers until he turned 18 years old on March 2. He was ordered to spend weekends in jail until he graduates from high school June 30.
Once school is recessed, the younger defendant must serve 60 days in the Churchill County Jail. He and Baglin must also pay $18,000 in restitution to Trauth for the loss of the llama.