On Wednesday August 24, 23-year-old American Kelontre D. Barefield was sentenced to 45 years in prison at the Canton courthouse, with 6 of these years for killing Jethro, a German Shepherd police dog from Canton in Ohio.The man shot Jethro dead on January 10 during a robbery which took an ugly turn. This is the maximum sentence in Ohio for killing a police dog.
The young man has also been charged with the organisation of four burglaries, aggravated robbery and shooting at two police officers on the night he killed Jethro. These charges resulted in his record sentence of 45 years in prison.According to the local press, the death of the police dog has broken hearts across the US, resulting in a reevaluation of the criminal penalties for killing a police dog in Ohio.
During the intervention which sadly cost him his life, Jethro tried to stop Barefield from burgling the house. When the police arrived, the man didn't hesitate to open fire on the officers. And it was Jethro who got the brunt of it, taking four bullets.
Though his vital organs escaped injury, the dog suffered fatal brain swelling from one bullet that struck the bridge of his muzzle.Canton Police ChiefBruce Lawver confirms:
There’s not a doubt in my mind that that dog saved officers’ lives.
Upon leaving the vet clinic in January, Jethro received tributes from his human colleagues at a moving ceremony: