Former NFL player Terrence Cody was sentenced to nine months for an infamous animal cruelty case.
On March 24, the 27-year-old former Ravens player was sentenced by Baltimore County Judge Judith C. Ensor. More than 5,000 people signed an online petition advocating for the maximum sentence; Ensor, however, says she made an independent decision.
"My responsibility is to listen and to make the best decision I can," she said at the hearing.
Cody was convicted back in November for numerous misdemeanors in relation to the death of his dog, Taz, in 2015, along with two misdemeanor drug charges, reports the Baltimore Sun. Prosecutors say Taz was starved to death.
Taz, a Canary Mastiff imported from Spain, cost Cody $8,000. The canine previously weighed more than 100 pounds and was reduced to less than 50 pounds when Cody took him to Reisterstown Animal Hospital a few hours before its death.
Defense lawyer Joe Murtha says Cody neglected to care for his dog because he suffers from depression. "His level of depression is so significant that he's become just isolated," said Murtha.
However, prosecutor Adam Lippe disagreed and pushed for a maximum sentence of 905 days, according to Daily Mail.
"I'm sure every defendant awaiting sentencing is depressed," Lippe said.
The judge stated during the trial that she is convinced Cody did not deliberately torture the dog, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Esnor also gave Cody probation before judgment for unlawfully possessing an alligator and for owning drug paraphernalia. Authorities found a gas-mask bong and a 6-foot-long green glass bong in Cody’s house.
She also sentenced the former NFL player to 18 months of supervised probation and mandatory mental health treatment. During the probation period, he is not allowed to own or possess an animal.
Cody will serve out the sentence at the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson.
Cody's girlfriend, Kourtney J. Kelley, 28, was also sentenced last month to 60 days in connection to animal cruelty and has since been paroled.