Sniper facing criminal charge in Creston dog shooting

December 3, 2018

Snoop Dogg


A Creston ranch owner who shot and killed a neighbor’s prize Rhodesian Ridgeback from atop a sniper’s tower has been charged with one misdemeanor count of cruelty to an animal, according to a district attorney’s criminal complaint filed late Friday afternoon. [Cal Coast Times]

Stephen William Almond, 65, admitted to sheriff’s deputies that he shot the two-year-old dog through the heart on Aug. 17, adding that he thought it was chasing a deer. Snoop Dogg was hit from a distance of more than 200 yards, the dog’s owner, David Murray, said. Almond used a high-powered, telescope-equipped rifle, Murray added.

During his investigation, District Attorney Dan Dow told Murray in an email, “I can assure you that no one is getting preferential treatment… this (thankfully) does not happen with frequency and we must be thorough.”

Dow’s investigators visited the Murray ranch recently and toured the site of the incident.

Deputy District Attorney Danielle Wheeler noted in the complaint that Almond “did unlawfully, maliciously, and intentionally kill” Snoop Dogg. Almond has been ordered to appear Jan. 8 for arraignment.

Murray said the filing is “good news” and that he and his family “are relieved.” He added, “We will press for a strong penalty.”

A petition bearing the signatures of more than 1,000 residents was presented to Dow in the midst of the investigation seeking the filing of felony charges.

Animal abuse in California can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Conviction as a misdemeanor can result in a county jail sentence of up to one year in county jail and a maximum $20,000 fine. An additional and consecutive one-year sentence in a state prison is possible if the animal cruelty offense involved the use of a deadly or dangerous weapon.

Almond reportedly also owns ranch land in Texas.

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We used to have a neighbor who was a little short in the trousers like mister Almond seems to be. He decided a way to feel better about his dangling shortfalls was to shoot a baby bear who was well known in our community. The bear while a problem bear was already tagged and the community was working to have it moved. Short stack thought that instead of compassion he’d flex is snubnose out one evening and get himself a baby bear rug. He was run out of our community although too late to save innocent little BooBoo from his fragile ego.

My understanding dog was on this guys land? If so, good lesson to keep ones dogs off of other people’s property to avoid people like this expressing their warped will.

A very interesting situation. First, I doubt Almond was in a “sniper’s tower” when he fired on the dog. For those interested,just Google “deer stand.”

Second, I wonder about anyone that can make a 200 yard (2 football fields) shot and not be certain of what he’s shooting at? Rifle optics are rather amazing these days. Either Almond is lying or he shot at something he misidentified. Both are problematic. I suspect it’s the former.

While it would be wrong to breach his Second Amendment rights by taking away his firearms, there are legal ways to punish him. In this case, particularly in civil court.

For those interested, just Google “Sniper Outlaw Deer Stand 16′, or simply go to this link:

And, ActoNonVerba, 200 yards for average hunters with telescopic sights is routine. Most deer are taken at 200-300 yards. Investigators pegged the distance at 200 yards, and I personally saw the shot line from the stand.

A deer stand is not a “sniper’s tower” even if you found a manufacturer that calls one of their deer stand models a “Sniper Outlaw 16′ Tripod Swivel Deer Stand.” You used “sniper’s tower” to add a bit of zing to your story.

Second, I never suggested that a 200 yard shot was either “routine” or “non-routine.” What I actually posted was “I wonder about anyone that can make a 200 yard (2 football fields) shot and not be certain of what he’s shooting at? Rifle optics are rather amazing these days.” Think about that a bit.

Finally as an experienced deer hunter I would challenge you to back up your claim that “Most deer are taken at 200-300 yards.” I suspect most deer are actually harvested in the ~100-200 range.

It’s merely a brand name.

Look up the definition of sniper. It’s simply a person who shoots from a hidden position accurately from a long distance. And it’s the brand name of the tower he shot from. It is actually a sniper tower.

Bravo to the DA for this action and protecting the community. Almond thinks he can shoot whatever is in his gunsight. Who is next?

FBI has documented animal cruelty is a gateway crime. His guns need to be seized.

I’m about as pro 2nd Amendment as you can get, and I agree. Idiots and guns don’t mix well.

His guns don’t “need” anything. Firearms are inanimate objects.

I hope he gets the max. Since when is “chasing a deer” an excuse for an execution? This it the very kind of guy I would not want owning a high powered weapon, which he obviously seems to need to use frequently. Or any weapon, for that matter. Blood lust is not particularly compatible with civilized society.

Chasing a deer is not, however, harassing livestock is. Seems this menace was just testing his long range skills for some sort of twisted thrill. Ugh.

Will Stephen Almond have to surrender his guns? He clearly does not know how to safely use them, and will he be prohibited from owning guns in the future? Probably not, the government would instead move to take guns away from those who have broken no laws and pose no threat, except to the government.

If it were my dog there would be little need for prosecution…

Amazing how efficient the DA can be with a crime like this while the corruption in SLO flourishes.