FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Daleon Rice shot Ernie twice, right in front of a police officer, but he won't serve a day in prison for the crime.
That's because the German Shepherd police dog recovered and returned to work. Under Kentucky law, assaulting a police dog is only a felony if the dog dies or can't resume his duties. Otherwise, it's a misdemeanor, often with no jail time.
Rice would end up being sentenced to a 40-year prison sentence on other charges, but it irked Officer Mike Lusardi and Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Rob Sanders that Ernie's assault would go unpunished. They lobbied the state legislature to change the law. A bill didn't pass last year, but a new one sponsored by Republican Rep. Diane St. Onge is headed for approval this year.