The killing of Humane Society volunteer Grant Kuenzli by Mr. Harold Fish is in the news again. (Roundup Dec. 31)
Defense attorney Melvin McDonald is nit-picking for some evidence to support a claim by killer Harold Fish that the killing was in "self-defense" because Mr. Kuenzli had a screwdriver in his "back pocket."
Did Mr. Fish see the screwdriver before the killing? Having a screwdriver in your back pocket is no reason to be killed. There is no mention that Mr. Kuenzli had it in his hand facing it downward in a stabbing position five feet away from Fish before Kuenzli was shot.
Mr. Fish has been quoted as saying he fired one (now two) shots into the ground, on the Pine Trail, because three dogs were running at him. If the dogs were running down the trail before it tops out of Pine Canyon, only a fool would fire a gun shot into the ground there because the trail is cluttered with rocks, many of them rounded. Shooting there would be like shooting your self in the leg.
There is no question that the dogs saw Mr. Fish as another playmate after Fish topped out of the canyon. Generally, the trail there is not well-defined because pine needles, oak leaves, or blowing dirt conceals the trail. The hiker just tops out of the canyon and walks to the Beeline. That is the area where the dogs were playing.
I know of Forest Service employees who had run across Mr. Kuenzli in the forest and found him to be a kind and gentle man who just loved animals and the out of doors.
There are members of the Payson Packers hiking club who ran across Mr. Kuenzli in the forest playing with the gentle dogs who were running over and under barriers that Mr. Kuenzli had built for them out of tree branches during play time.
Is that why Mr. Kuenzli had a screwdriver in his pocket, for making playground equipment?
Attorney McDonald, do you have a background report on Harold Fish you would like to share with us?
Dave Engleman, Payson