How much is a police K9’s life worth? Some people may say it’s just a dog, but to their police partner, the K9 is so much more. Killing a dog is indisputably a cowardly, horrific act. So when one thug murdered a police K9, the judge didn’t hesitate to lay down a harsh sentence — so harsh, that some people are wondering if it was too much.
Canton Police Officer Ryan Davis was responding to a security alarm with his K9 partner, Jethro. 22-year-old Kelontre Barefield was inside, and he had a gun on him. Davis says that Jethro saved his life by charging at Barefield, who responded by shooting Jethro three times, killing him.
The loss was devastating to Davis, who had raised Jethro since he was eight weeks old.
“I would trade places with him in a heartbeat. Absolutely, because I wouldn’t have to sit here and suffer over the loss of him.
He’s left a hole that will never be filled. He gave his life for me.”
After his death, a memorial service was held on what would have been Jethro’s third birthday, and police officers from across the country came to honor his memory.
Now, Barefield is having to pay the price for his senseless crime. Stark County Judge Kristin Farmer sentenced him to 34 years in prison for murdering Jethro, adding on another 11 years for his other crimes, for a total of 45 years. Farmer called his behavior “intolerable”.
Some have applauded the sentence, agreeing that the attack on the dog should be treated the same as if Barefield had shot and killed Davis, Jethro’s human partner. Others, though, have said that it was too harsh for the death of a dog.
@ABC I luv dogs BUT 45-yrs for shooting a dog is RIDICULOUS! Police wrongfully shoot private citizens dogs all the time without penalty
— Kanye_Trump (@Barack_McBush) August 26, 2016
@ABC give me a break! 45-years for a dog! What a joke
— Powder Toast Man (@Such_A_Narcist) August 26, 2016
As for Davis, he hopes that this will bring some closure to an awful chapter in his life, writing:
“I am hopeful this will allow some closure.
I have been torn with anger and vengeance on my human side and struggling with forgiveness through my faith.”
Hopefully, the knowledge that Barefield won’t be free to victimize anyone else for a very, very long time will bring him some peace.