Jimenez Partida appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Thursday and entered guilty pleas to several charges related to the trapping death of a family’s pet dog.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Education and Program Manager Vivaca Crowser explained what happened nearly two weeks ago.

“There was a report of a dog that was unfortunately trapped and killed on city property near the Clark Fork River,” said Crowser. “There were several violations. One, the area was closed to trapping and that was a city violation, and there were state regulations that were violated, as there were four traps in the area and none of them were marked. One of the traps was a conibear and that type of trap is required to be recessed into a box or a tube or something that would prevent instances like this from happening.”

Partida appeared before Judge Landee Holloway and offered to plead guilty to all charges. He also refused to have the court appoint an attorney to represent him.

Following the court appearance, Partida spoke to KGVO News and explained what happened.

“I’ve never trapped,” said Partida. “My nephew has trapped a little bit before. It was something for me and my kids to do to get them outside because we like being outside. We were trapping for coyotes, fox or even bobcat,” he said. “Actually, the bobcat tracks are what sparked us to that area.”

Partida explained how they learned about the death of the dog.

“We went to check our traps as soon as possible so that no animal would suffer,” he said. “We were met by the game warden. They didn’t really say anything. They asked us where we were going and we said we were going to check our traps. He took us down the hill and we found three of the four traps, then we found the fourth one for him. We went back to their truck and wrote us the tickets.”

Partida said he loves dogs and would never intentionally harm a pet. He expects to pay restitution to the owner of the dog.

“I’m sure we’ll have to pay restitution for the animal and whatever else that may entail,” he said. He also said he has received disturbing Facebook messages. “We got these messages and I just let them go,” he said. There were a couple of posts that were deleted because they thought better of it.”

Partida said trapping is a way of life and he plans to continue once he fully learns and understands the regulations.

“I’ve been reading the regulations and I signed up for a wolf trapping class, so any knowledge is good knowledge. I know how much we love our animals, and pets are just like kids.”

Following that interview, Partida’s nephew asked to be heard.

“My uncle got charged for something he didn’t do,” he said. “I’m the one that trapped the dog and it was an accident, I was teaching him how to trap and it was his first time. I feel so bad about what happened because I love dogs, too and I feel bad for my uncle because he’s being charged for something that he didn’t do.”

Judge Holloway released Partida on his own recognizance.

Judge Holloway and Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings set a restitution hearing for Partida and the victims to meet on December 18 at 3:00 p.m. in Missoula Justice Court.