Teen who killed llama gets prison
Nevada Appeal News Service
FALLON – A teen who helped his younger brother stab a llama to death in December was sent to prison Tuesday for his part in the crime.
District Judge Robert E. Estes sentenced Warren James Baglin to 12-34 months in the Nevada State Prison for killing the animal.
The judge expressed dismay that Baglin, who said he has lived in Fallon all his life, did not appreciate what farmers and ranchers in rural communities provide.
“People make their livings growing things, growing things from the ground and raising cattle, llamas, sheep and horses,” the judge told Baglin. “You’ve lived here all your life, and what has fed and clothed you are people who work on farms and ranches.”
Baglin, 19, and his 17-year-old brother killed the llama by stabbing it multiple times. They decided on a whim to kill an animal while listening to music at a friend’s house the night of Dec. 18, a police report states.
The llama, named “Snowman,” was one of more than two dozen owned by Pam and John Trauth, who raise the animals at their Reno Highway home. Their llamas are considered pets and also shown at llama competitions throughout the country.
John Trauth told Judge Estes the crime has changed the way his family lives.
“We have lived in the community for over 24 years and would never have thought anything like this would happen here. We now lock our doors and get up at least once during the night to check on the rest of the herd,” he said.
“This was a senseless killing of a domestic animal. It wasn’t for food, clothing, to keep warm or for self-protection. It was for fun or just plain meanness and cruelty.”
He said his llamas have also become wary of strangers, no longer walking to the fence to be petted.
“Some think that animals have no feelings. Snowman’s pasture mates stood guard over him after the sheriff’s office left, and were still there in the morning,” said Trauth. “The blood trail was from the front of the pasture toward the house, where we believe he was coming for help.”
Trauth said he and his wife use money from breeding their show animals to supplement his retirement. He will retire next year after 20 years as a firefighter. Trauth said he has lost the income from future breeding, the animal’s offspring and money spent on promoting Snowman’s champion blood lines.
As part of Baglin’s sentence, he was ordered to pay $15,000 in restitution to the Trauths.
Defense Attorney Paul Drakulich said Baglin has had a troubled history, with previous suicide attempts. Drakulich asked for probation for his client, saying Baglin understands the horror of what he did.
“Give him a chance to prove to this community and this court that he can make something out of himself,” he said.
The defendant said he wants to pay the victims for the loss of the animal and “prove to myself that I’m a good person.
“I’m haunted to this day. I have nightmares, and this will haunt me for the rest of my life,” he said.
Drakulich noted that Baglin’s younger brother came up with the idea to kill a llama and was prosecuted as a juvenile. He was under the supervision of juvenile probation officers until he turned 18 on March 23.
He must spend weekends in jail until he graduates from high school June 30. After that, the younger Baglin will serve 60 days in the Churchill County Jail.
Deputy District Attorney Brandi Jensen urged the judge to give Baglin the maximum sentence.
“This is a very sad case, but also a very scary case,” she said. “It’s sad to see such a gentle creature destroyed in such a violent act. I would hope that this community would not tolerate animal abuse.”
n Contact reporter Marlene Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.