BOULDER — Former Boulder police Officer Sam Carter was spared prison time Friday in the highly contentious Mapleton elk case after a district court judge sentenced the 37-year-old to four years probation and 200 hours of community service in the killing of the trophy animal last year.

Carter also was sentenced to 30 days on a work crew.

After a week-long trial, Carter was convicted in early June of attempting to influence a public official, a Class 4 felony; one count of forgery, a Class 5 felony; and two counts of tampering with evidence, a Class 6 felony.

Prosecutors say Carter shot the trophy elk in the residential area while on duty on Jan. 1, 2013 — without reporting that he'd fired his weapon — then claimed the animal had been injured and needed to be put down.

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