Canton Police Department
 
If I had not seen this for myself, I would not have believed it.

Kelontre D. Barefield, 23, will be spending more time in prison than a rapist. His crime….fatally shooting Jethro, a police dog.

On Wednesday he pleaded guilty to charges related to Jethro’s death and several other counts stemming from four earlier burglaries and an unrelated aggravated robbery.

In January, Barefield broke into the Fishers Foods on Harrison Avenue SW, shot Jethro three times and exchanged gunfire with two officers, during which he was shot in the ankle. The police dog died the following day. 

Jethro, a K-9 for the Canton Police Department in Ohio, passed away in January of 2016 after being shot multiple times after responding to a burglary at a local grocery store, according to police.

The crime sparked national outrage, and police from as far away as New York and Maryland came to Canton to attend Jethro’s funeral. The dog’s death also led state lawmakers to introduce a bill that would make the penalty for killing a police K9 harsher. 

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Kristin G. Farmer called Barefield’s actions “intolerable” and said they violated “the safety and security of this county and the people sworn to protect it” as she sentenced him to a combined 45-year prison term that covers both pending cases.         

Farmer, as she sentenced Barefield on Wednesday, noted the six years he will serve for shooting Jethro is the maximum allowed by the state. She also said while some people might see a 45-year prison sentence as “too harsh,” it reflects not only the seriousness of Jethro’s death and the fact that he shot at two officers but also the “terror” inflicted on victims of the burglaries and aggravated robbery. 

I have sympathy for the dog and his handler because I own dog myself. But I can’t say that I would wish someone to do 45 years if they were responsible for her death.

We have pedophiles, rapists and murderers who are not sentenced to that much time.

But why am I surprised?

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