News Briefs

Denver County Judge Sentences DJ for Cruelty to Hen

Throwing a Hen out a Window is Illegal,
Carries Penalty, Judge Tells Steven Meade

“Lots of things are titillating, but cruelty is cool only to the sick at heart. Meade is now a convicted criminal awaiting sentence. His crime isn't a romantic one either, but the meanest sort of viciousness to a small female bird.”
– From UPC president Karen Davis's letter published in 5280 Magazine, Denver, CO, April/May 2001.

On January 31, the Denver County District Attorney's Office successfully prosecuted KBPI radio announcer Steven Meade ("Willie B") for cruelty to animals for making a station intern drop a hen twice from studio balconies to broadcast her suffering and possible death on the air. A 6-member jury convicted Meade of cruelty to animals for his sadistic stunt. On Monday, March 12, Denver County Court Judge, the Honorable Alfred Harrell, sentenced Steven Meade as follows:

One 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 of animal abuse.
  • $400 surcharge to be paid into the Colorado Animal Protection Fund.
  • $500 fine.
  • $91 statutory Court fees and costs.
  • No new offences.
  • 60 days Denver Jail suspended on the condition that he comply with all the terms and conditions of probation.

In a letter to Judge Harrell of February 26, 2001, United Poultry Concerns president Karen Davis recommended that in addition to a substantive fine to Colorado's Animal Cruelty Prevention Fund and 200 hours of community service, Meade be ordered to issue a public statement of apology for his cruelty to the hen, who has since been named Angel. Davis expressed her belief that Meade selected a living creature to drop from a balcony precisely because he know that to do so would inflict suffering, and to inflame cruel impulses in a type of audience he wished not only to amuse but to expand.

In the Spring issue of PoultryPress, United Poultry Concerns urged people to tell radio station KBPI-FM to fire Steven Meade. Contact: Bob Trigilio, Program Director, KBPI-FM, 1380 Lawrence, Suite 1300, Denver, CO 80204.

United Poultry Concerns congratulates and thanks prosecuting attorney Diane Balkin for successfully convicting Steven Meade of cruelty to animals. United Poultry Concerns is grateful to prosecutor Balkin for requesting our assistance in presenting evidence that chickens suffer and in making recommendations for Meade's sentencing. Diane Balkin welcomes questions from our readers, members and supporters at, or by calling 720-913-9098, or by writing to her at the Office of the District Attorney, 303 West Colfax Avenue, Suite 1300, Denver, CO 80204.