TUCUMCARI, N.M. (KRQE) – He is charged because his dogs got out, attacked, and killed a man in Tucumcari earlier this month. Today, Kristopher Morris talked to News 13 about the attack. He says he can’t believe what happened and says Mary Montoya is to blame.
“I’m truly – from the deepest, from the bottom of my heart – I’m truly sorry. There’s [sic] no words. There’s nothing I can say to bring him back. I feel terrible about what happened, I really do,” said Morris.
That’s the reaction Morris had after he learned what his dog Xena did to 64-year-old Stanley Hartt. Police say on February 1, Hartt was walking along 11th Street near Gamble in Tucumcari when he was attacked by five dogs and was killed. Morris and his mother were charged with involuntary manslaughter. Morris said his mom, Mary Montoya, was aware the dogs would run loose around town.
“The night of the attack, my mom was here and she would always say when they got out, ‘they’ll be back. Just let them go, they’ll come back,’” said Morris.
Morris doesn’t know how many times the dogs had escaped from his mom’s home in the past. He says he did his part to make sure the dogs wouldn’t escape. “I always put cement blocks or logs, I always put them right where the holes were to prevent them from escaping,” said Morris.
Morris got Xena in 2020 and gave her to his mom who had a backyard until he found a home that allowed big dogs. He says he was training her to be a therapy dog and never saw any type of aggression out of Xena.
“If I would’ve seen any sign of aggression on any of the animals, I would’ve had them put down to prevent anything like this from happening,” said Morris. He isn’t allowed to contact Hartt’s family but says if he could, he would pay for Hartt’s funeral.
Morris and Montoya are expected to be back in court on March 16. They are not allowed to have any dogs or animals.