Jeffrey Bolger, a retired Baltimore police officer, was found not guilty on Nov. 19 in the death of dog whose throat he slit in June 2014 (video below).
Bolger was charged with mutilating an animal, animal cruelty and misconduct in office, notes The Baltimore Sun, but Judge Melissa Phinn found Bolger not guilty on all counts.
Prosecutors claimed that Bolger slit the throat of Nala, a 7-year-old Shar-Pei, in a moment of anger and had no reason to kill the animal, whch had been restrained with a dog pole.
However, Bolger's lawyers said that Bolger was only trying to euthanize the dog and put it out of its misery because it had choked on the dog pole.
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Phinn claimed that most of the witnesses, who included a police officer and an EMT worker, were not credible and/or contradicted each other. Phinn thought the veterinarian, who wrote in an autopsy that the dog bled to death, was biased, reports WBAL.
Instead, Phinn relied on the testimony of Maryland chief medical examiner David R. Fowler, who is not a vet, but claimed that the dog likely died before having its throat cut.
Phinn believed that Bolger could not have known if the dog was dead when he slit its throat. However, it's not clear how an adult would not know that a dog had died; there have been instances of children recognizing the deaths of canines.
Sarah Gossard, who owned Nala, wrote on Facebook: "I am heartbroken to say that the Judge found Bolger Not Guilty today. I am devastated and very emotional ... I do believe that just because this Judge didn't find the evidence sufficient, that doesn't mean that he didn't kill her. I don't feel that justice was served but I can only hope that Nala's death has raised animal cruelty awareness. I would never want anyone to go through what I've been through."