Animal cruelty to a chicken
February 1, 2000
On January 31st, 2001 KBPI radio announcer Steven Meade (age 32) was convicted of animal cruelty after he instructed a station intern to drop a live hen from a 3rd floor balcony for an on air stunt. Meade encouraged listeners to bring small animals to the radio station so that they could be let loose on nearby Interstate highway 25. Meade stated to his listeners there would be an early spring if the animals survived, but there would be 6 more weeks of winter if they did not.
When one listener brought a hen to the station, Meade instructed an intern to throw the hen first from a second-story window, then from a 3rd floor balcony. The injured hen survived and was rescued by an employee of the Denver Dumb Friends League who was listening to the radio station at the time of the cruelty.
Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter, Jr. brought the charges against Meade to the courts after the Denver Dumb Friends League filed a complaint.
Meade (DOB 11/20/68) is also known as Willie B. was charged with one count of cruelty to animals on June 29, 2000. His court case began on August 1, 2000. His sentencing hearing was on March 12th, 2001 at which time he could receive up to 18 months in jail and a $5000 fine. Diane Balkin of the Denver Country District Attorney's office prosecuted the case against Meade.
Update: 3/21/01 Denver County Judge Alfred Harrell sentenced Meade to 1 year supervised probation with the following conditions: *100 hours useful public service for any group or organization that benefits animals. *24 one-hour individualized counseling sessions with "Ani-Care Model of Treatment", a Colorado program specifically designed for perpetrators convicted of cruelty to animals. *$400 surcharge to be paid into the Colorado Animal Protection Fund. *A $500 fine. *$991 statutory court fees and costs. *60 days Denver Jail suspended on the condition that he comply with all the terms and conditions of probation.
The District Attorney's office received about 500 letters from 42 states and 8 foreign countries regarding this case.
A Denver area veterinarian has adopted the chicken and named it "Angel".
Meade faced additional separate charges in Boulder, CO for encouraging listeners in 2000 to take their four-wheel-drive vehicles onto sensitive habitat for what's been dubbed a "Mudfest". See Convicted Case - Steven Meade & Marc Stout case for further details.
The Denver District Attorney's Office
The Humane Society of the United States
The Associated Press
The Denver Post