(ANTIMEDIA) A 23-year-old Ohio man has been sentenced to 45 years in prison after exchanging gunfire with Canton police in January. This week, a judge sentenced Kelontre Barefield to be incarcerated for 11 years on multiple burglary charges and 34 years for the death of Jethro, a three-year-old German Shepherd who served as a member of the department’s K-9 unit. Both sentences are to be served consecutively.
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Barefield pled guilty to charges pertaining to the death of the canine and various other charges in an unrelated aggravated robbery case.
According to the head trainer of Canton PD’s K-9 unit, Eric Stanbro, Jethro died after being shot three times while responding to Barefield’s robbery of Fisher Foods, a local Canton grocery store. Police shot Barefield in the ankle during the altercation.
In March, a letter of condolence for Jethro to the department from an 11-year-old girl went viral.“I [sic] sorry about Jethro. So here is my allowance for the bulletproof vests. God bless you and the dogs,” it read.
— CantonRep.com (@CantonRepdotcom) March 14, 2016
The death of Jethro prompted state lawmakers to introduce a bill that would make the punishment for killing a police K9 more severe.
In a similar case, in 2014, a West Palm Beach, Florida teenager received a 23-year sentence for shooting and killing a five-year-old police dog during an armed robbery of a police officer’s home in 2012.
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